|Low-spice mutton curry|
My aunt used to make a mutton curry which would be without any spice, virtually, but it would taste so good that my father and I would gobble up plates of rice with it, adding nothing more than a couple of green chillies while mashing the rice with our hands. Every time I would go over to my aunt’s place, I would request this dish because it was so simple, but tasty, and she would make it for me. Over time, I sat down in the kitchen, chopped onions, prepped potatoes, and watched her in action, and slowly realized how she made it. Today, my version is quite similar to what she makes, to the extent that my mother gave me a compliment – which is a rare feat indeed! If you are on the hunt for a low-spice mutton curry, this is it! We even serve it to the sick, especially when they are fresh out of a fever and complaining for something which will be tasty.
The key to this mutton dish is – okay, you guessed it – FAT. I generally add about 50 gm. of solid mutton fat per 500 gm. of meat, and thankfully, my butcher is nice enough to slice up a bit of solid mutton fat and give it to me when I am buying. For this dish, I like the ribs and the foreleg, but you can actually make this dish with virtually any part of mutton, and it will still be tasty.
Start with marinating about 750 gm. meat in 2 tablespoon plain yogurt, 1 large pinch red chilli powder, 1 large pinch pepper powder, 1 teaspoon ginger paste and 1 teaspoon garlic paste. You can also add a bit of salt, but I generally skip it.
|all the vegetables.|
Cut 3-4 potatoes and a couple of carrots into pieces, and add a few chunks of raw papaya. Also, observe here – I have peeled a couple of onions and a few large cloves of garlic. These are little flavor bombs which taste incredible. Do not miss out on these. They are also quite filling and nutritious, and is fantastic when you are consuming this with chunks of bread.
|whole masalas frying|
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable or mustard oil over medium-high heat in a pressure cooker. In case you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook it in a heavy-bottomed vessel with a tight fitting lid. When the oil is hot, swirl it about, and then add 2-3 green cardamoms, a couple of sticks of cinnamon, about an inch wide, 10-12 peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, and 3-4 cloves. You can also add a couple of dry red chillies at this point. I like, so I add. Let this fry slightly, for about 30 seconds.
Drop in about 200 gm. onions, sliced. I personally love these purple onions, they are perfect for this purpose. Once the onions are in, add a pinch of salt, and stir them about. Let this cook for 2-3 minutes.
Oh hello, mutton fat! For those of you who are already suffering from a cholesterol arrest, let me tell you, this step is going to enhance the food’s taste so much! Just add fat, chopped up, to your mutton curry, and let it fry for a few minutes before introducing the meat. Stir the meat about over high heat, let the juices seal up. Then, add 2 cups of water, a few dashes of salt and sugar, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (you can substitute with paprika). Let this come to a boil, then cover the pressure cooker with its lid, and let it come to full pressure. Once full pressure is attained, lower the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on your cooker’s ability to soften the meat. Over low heat, this will take roughly 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the 10-15 minutes are up, turn off the heat and let the pressure cool down by itself, so that the lid can be opened by itself.
|Half finished mutton curry|
At this point, add the vegetables – the potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and papaya. You can always be a bit of a purist and add nothing, but to be fair, this dish isn’t complete without some vegetables. Once you add the vegetables, stir well, if required, add a bit more water, then cover the lid of the cooker, and let it come to full pressure. Once that is achieved, reduce heat and cook for 5-8 minutes. Turn off the pressure cooker, and let it cool down naturally till the lid comes off. Open the cooker, check the meat to see if it is properly seasoned. Then, pick out the meat, pieces of vegetables, and soft pieces of onions, because Serve with rice or slices of toasted bread. I always pick out the soft cloves of garlic and smoosh it all over my toast before I dip it in the gravy. This is one low spice mutton curry which my father never can get enough of.
|Non spicy mutton curry|