As you’re utterly sick of hearing from me, this past year we have been getting a whole goat from a local small farm and splitting it with friends. Processing happens at the excellent Dennison Meat Locker and our half is cut to my specifications by the butchers there. I actually send them links to Youtube videos of Pakistani butchers cutting goat and they follow their lead! Quite apart from the appeal of getting high quality mutton/goat cut in the proper desi style, a big advantage of getting a whole/half goat is getting all kinds of different cuts. Among these is the neck, which is very bone-heavy—which means curries cooked long and slow with those pieces have excellent flavour and rich texture. Such was the case with this curry with potatoes that I first made in early November, and which some people have been calling for the recipe of ever since I posted a Reel of the finished dish on Instagram. Here it is now. Continue reading
We split a goat from a local small farm again with friends this fall. I like everything about the mutton we get from this farm but I particularly enjoy cooking with the keema/mince. The slightly gamy flavour and the texture of coarsely ground mutton/goat is, in my opinion, unparalleled for most Indian keema and kofta/meatball preps. Or maybe I think so because that’s the only kind of keema I ate growing up. In fact, the flavour of goat keema is also crucial to hamburgers in India. At any rate, I find goat keema the best pairing with robust spices. In this case I deploy a bit of kabab chini or cubeb/tailed pepper [affiliate link]. It’s sold in desi groceries and you can find it online as well. You have to be careful though as the term kabab chini is sometimes used for allspice as well—look for a brand that specifies cubeb pepper on the packaging. As with any good keema prep this also features potatoes and peas; and at the end I dump in rather a lot of chopped green onions. I fully admit that this is because I had purchased a rather massive bunch of vibrant green onions from Hmong Village in St. Paul the weekend before I made this and needed to use them up—but they brought very good flavour and texture. Continue reading
The first two recipes I posted this month were both for baingan/eggplant (Baingan “Bharta” and Baingan-Zeera Masala). And there’s one more to come still. But let’s take a break this week and do the one non-eggplant recipe to crack this month’s poll. This is a recipe for mutton—as we Indians refer to goat meat. If you don’t have easy—or any—access to mutton/goat meat you can make it with lamb shanks or even with beef. You want to make it with enough bones in there though. I last made this with a hind leg from the goat friends and I split at the end of last year and there were quite a few marrow/shank bones in there. I cooked it not in the pressure cooker—as I often do with my mutton curries—but long and slow on the stovetop. It is basically a first cousin, twice removed of the classic Bengali mutton dish known as kosha mangsho. The first step is to marinate the mutton overnight in yogurt and a bunch of spices (you can watch a Reel of the process here). You then saute some whole garam masala and some onions, dump in the meat with all its marinade, add some tomato, cook it down till the oil separates, then add some water, cover and cook over low heat till the meat is almost done. Then you add some halved potatoes and cook till they and the meat are done. All that’s left do is garnish with some dhania and eat it with rice, chapatis or parathas. Continue reading
Here is the recipe for goat testicles and kidneys in a spicy sauce that you have been clamouring for. Some of you in the US will ask, “But where can we buy goat testicles and kidneys?!” What am I, your fucking personal shopper? Look in grocery stores catering to goat-eating cultures. For my part I got the testicles and kidneys used in this recipe from the goat friends and we bought from a local farm at the end of December and had cut up to our specifications. I asked if the testicles could be saved by the processor and they could and I got ’em. Now you may not associate Indian food with the cooking of offal. But liver and kidney are very commonly eaten, be they of chickens or goats. They were always included in the chicken and goat curries cooked at home when I was growing up as were dishes centered entirely on liver. My mother did not, however, cook goat testicles. But we ate them in dhabas in Delhi, along with things like brain curry (a particular treat on my 13th birthday at Kake da Hotel in Connaught Place). In Punjabi cooking these are not particularly exotic items. And nor are they anything very exotic on the plate. Goat testicles, in particular, have a very mild flavour and a pleasant spongy texture; perfect for coating in a spicy masala and that is what I do here. Please keep in mind that mine is not a traditional Punjabi recipe—it may resemble one in some ways but doubtless departs from most in others. Continue reading
I’ve been stuck in a rut with mutton curries of late. It’s a delicious rut to be sure, variations on this basic Bengali-style approach, but it’s good to change things up. And so I did. This is an improvized recipe not trying to follow any particular regional style. In fact, what I had in mind here is more Malay and Indonesian braised meat dishes with star anise playing a big role. It’s not that star anise is not used in Indian cooking (it’s a common component of garam masala) but it’s not quite as ubiquitous as cinnamon, clove or cardamom—at least not in the meat dishes I’m used to eating or cooking. It’s the presiding whole spice here, along with cardamom, especially aromatically, but the sweetness it imparts is cut by vinegar on the palate. No tomatoes are used, which results in a “darker” flavour profile. Anyway, I think it’s quite good: give it a go. Continue reading
I’ve previously posted a recipe for mutton curry in a typically Bengali style. Here now is a variation on that made with a lot more tomatoes (which are the source of the redness). It’s a very easy recipe, especially if you have a pressure cooker—but it can very easily be done on the stovetop or even in the slow cooker. By the way, in case you don’t know, when Indians say “mutton” we mean goat; you can just as easily make this with lamb or even beef; I wouldn’t suggest it with chicken as the lower cooking time with chicken may result in a sauce that’s dominated too much by the large amount of tomatoes used (over the longer cooking time on the stove-top, or over 30 minutes in a pressure cooker, with more richly flavoured meat, the tomato integrates well with everything else). Continue reading
I often rail about the nut paste-laden, heavy dishes that have come to define Indian food for those who know it largely/only from Indian restaurants in the West; and so I am happy to present a recipe of my own that relies heavily on nut paste. Well, it’s not my recipe, really; it’s another recipe from the aunt I keep talking about, she who is one of the great cooks of the extended family (though perhaps in second place overall in my unofficial rankings). This is a recipe for mutton korma (mutton=goat for Indians) but there’s no reason you can’t make it with lamb or beef if that’s easier for you; or any reason why you couldn’t try to adapt it for chicken as well.
Before I get to the recipe (which, as you will see, is a bit of a cheat), a quick, unreliable note about “korma”. Continue reading
In English English mutton is sheep meat (i.e. grown up lamb). In Indian English, however, mutton is goat (ideally kid). How this linguistic divergence came to be, I have no idea, but I am going to speculate that it may have something to do with the kitchens and tables of benighted English colonial types in India during the Raj. If you can either confirm or deny with confidence, please write in below. Anyway, mutton is one of the staple meats of India, though not eaten quite as widely as chicken, which is cheaper (if you’re interested in how meat eating in India is distributed by region and type, see here). And across the country there are many iconic preparations of it—and not just in biryani form (mutton is the meat par excellence for biryani, though you wouldn’t know this from Indian restaurants abroad).