It’s been a little over 2 years since I moved to Bangalore. And for the longest time, I couldn’t seem to get my mutton curry right. It was ALWAYS chewy. I bought curry cuts of lamb. I bought curry cuts of goat. I bought just a lamb shank. And I just couldn’t get it right.
New Year’s Eve this time, I decided to give it another shot – probably in one of those do-or-die situations. Or the #AchievementUnlocked2014 spirit. It was originally meant to be a mutton sukka recipe based on something I saw on the internet. But I added a little bit of this and a litte bit of that and made it a curry. I’ve made it thrice since. So, yes. This is what my go-to mutton curry is.
500g of curry cuts of lamb (or goat, we’re flexible like that… though I will admit, I prefer lamb)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
4 bay leaves, broken into halves
Salt, to taste
A handful of grated coconut
Juice of half a lime
10-15 curry leaves
4-6 dried red chillies
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 garlic cloves
An inch of ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
Water, to cook
Oil, to cook (I use just about a teaspoon of oil and rely on the fat of the lamb for most of the flavour)
1-2 sliced green chillies, optional
1. In a pressure cooker, put the mutton, bay leaves, salt and turmeric powder. Fill the cooker up with water until the mutton pieces are just covered. Pressure cook the meat on low flame for about 30 minutes.
2. Grind the onions, garlic, ginger and red chillies to a fine paste.
3. Heat some oil in a vessel. Add the curry leaves and green chillies and let them cook for a minute or so, until they begin to splutter.
4. Add the ginger-garlic-onion-chilli paste and cook until it is translucent.
5. Add the grated coconut and the garam masala and cook for a few more minutes.
6. Now add the mutton, along with the water and cook on high flame for 8-10 minutes. The meat should be cooked tender by now. If you think the meat needs more cooking, cook on a low flame, with the vessel covered, checking every 7-10 mins whether the meat is cooked or not. Over-cooked lamb tastes awful and you really don’t want to ruin a cook curry.
7. If you think the curry is too watery, set the mutton pieces aside, and boil the curry on high, until it reduces to a thick gravy. Add the lamb pieces back into the curry, when you’re done.
8. Serve with chapatis or steamed rice.