Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mom's Mutton Curry

The Boy has finally accepted that my mom may just be a better cook than his (of course, he’s certain she is but loyalty to his mater prevents him from admitting as much).

The recipe in question was my mom’s Mutton Curry recipe (the famous 1kg onion : 1kg mutton recipe), and if a non-cook like me can whip up the dish that compels The Boy to make such a statement, you can imagine the power of the recipe.

So here, ladies & gentlemen, is my mother’s Mutton Curry recipe. Great with rice, pulao, puris and just about anything.

The star cast:

Mutton – 750gm
Onions, grated – 750 gm (that’s a hell lot of onions I know, but hang in there, soldier :)
Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Tomatoes, grated – 2 large
Yogurt (for marinating)
Bay leaves – 2-3
Salt to taste
Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Mustard oil (!!!)
Ghee – 2 tsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp

My mom makes this mutton curry in mustard oil. I don’t like mustard oil and never use it myself but she insists it gives the dish a robust flavor and it wouldn’t turn out even half as good with refined cooking oil. Hey, who am I to argue?

The script (the drama unfolds):

Marinate the mutton in mustard oil, yogurt, salt & turmeric for half an hour.

Heat mustard oil in a pan. Add the bay leaves once the oil is hot & let them splutter. Add the onions and fry till they are light brown in color. Add the ginger and garlic pastes. Fry till the mixture is a nice shade of brown. Add tomatoes and fry for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the mutton, salt & turmeric. Stir in the mutton well with the spices, cover the lid and let cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally.

The mutton will ooze water which will start resembling a semi-thick gravy. When the gravy has dried up and the mutton has started oozing oil (mutton fat), remove the lid. Add chilli powder & coriander powder and fry on medium-high heat till the mutton turns brown.

Remember not to take the lid off and start frying before the water has dried up and the mutton starts oozing oil. This will cause the gravy to splutter and the mutton & spices will stick to the bottom and char due to lack of oil.

Transfer the contents into a pressure cooker, add a glass (250ml) of hot water and seal the cooker. Let it whistle once on high heat and 2-3 times on low heat.

For some reason, my mom always adds warm/hot water while she's cooking rather than water at room temperature. It's a little bit of a pain but if you have a micro, life's good :)

Let the cooker stay shut till all the vapor has been released, open, add ghee & garam masala powder. Stir well & serve.

My mom also always adds the garam masala powder right before taking the dish off the stove. I don't know why though, never asked.

This curry will take about 2 hours on the gas. You need to have patience to cook it. Many people cook the mutton in the pressure cooker before adding it to the pot in which they are cooking the spices but that will give you a very average kind of curry. Cooking the mutton with the spices first for more than an hour (that's how much time it will take) will get the spices to really infuse into the meat.

I wish I had pictures but what to do...I'm lazy and a little squeamish about clicking pictures of everything I cook :P


The knife said...

sounds lovely. must try it. so much onions. wow. mom's always are right

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - The onions give the gravy its consistency & flavor. They're a pain to grate but that's when the maid comes in handy ;)

The knife said...

this is one of the rare occasions where u can survive alone. Skin the oinions and bung into a mixie. Beats chopping onions

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - I'm not sure it would taste the same. Grinding onions in a mixer makes them very pulpy/ watery.

The knife said...

true. depends a lot on the consitency desired. I like a onions to mesh in with the gravy/ spice mix and prefer the pulp. But a solid bite of onion can make a big difference.

We'd gone to a local restaurant for lunch. My friend ordered 'mutton fry' which came in a thick onion base. You could taste the onion which made a world of difference.

How about short bursts of the mixer? It takes a while to get a liquidy consistency

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - Even with grated onions, you won't get onion pieces in the gravy. They get finely shredded & melt during cooking anyway. But short bursts in the mixer could work. Give it a shot :)

The knife said...

where are you?