Committed meat sacrilege today! I am particularly averse to boneless mutton, I never cook with it. Mutton in our kitchen is mostly curried, I make chops very often and I sometimes buy a tiny little rib rack to pot roast and finish in the oven. However, if I had regular and affordable access to lamb (the real thing) then things would be different, I wouldn’t miss beef this much and I would cook pork as much, anyhow that’s one issue that’s not going to solve itself, so till today it had been years since I bought boneless mutton. I grew up eating a lot of Indian Muslim cuisine, mutton curries were cooked in their own fat, no cooking mediums were used. Yoghurt attributed a lot to the creamy texture of the curry and those are memories that influence a lot of my cooking now. Bones were essential for a rich gravy and of course, the tender, fall off the bone meat! But I had found this awesome Kerala beef fry recipe that I wanted to try with mutton so I prepped the whole deconstructed makeup of this dish and made it with mutton.
The only thing with me is that I like to cut the meat myself, so if you have a butcher you can talk to and explain things to, then by all means do! I tend to get frustrated so I asked for a chunk of boneless mutton and then I was on my own. Andy was nice enough to stand and get the prawns deveined because he knew I already had too much to do for this evening (I made his all time favourite prawn and okra curry). So when I started Andy’s pre b’day dinner, the first thing I did was the mutton slivers. For me the trick is to cut with the grain, you know, the way the lines of flesh are going, cut at the same angle, thin pieces, as equal as possible. I cut them ½ “ in length and little less than ½ “ thin. They seemed really small but it worked out.
½ kg boneless mutton, cut into strips
3 tbsp whipped yoghurt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Deggi Mirch or Cayenne pepper if you have any
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic paste
1 large or 2 small onions thinly sliced
6-8 garlic cloves smashed
1” ginger piece smashed
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chilli powder (depending on how hot you want this, you can chilli flakes of paprika)
10-15 curry leaves
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 tbsp tamarind paste
5 tbsp oil (keep one tbsp separate)
Marinate the mutton for around an hour or more if you can, keep it in the fridge and keep it covered. I usually mix the marinade with the meat by hand and kind of work it all in a bit. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil, fry the onions, garlic and ginger, till the onions turn light brown. Add the meat and the balance 1 tsbp oil and fry for 4-5 minutes on high, add the masala’s, the curry leaves, the lemon juice and salt. Fry on low fire for 3-4 minutes, once all the moisture is released, you will get a curry of sort, turn up the heat and fry on high to dry it off, let the meat lightly char, take of the heat and toss up and serve with Malabar parantha, Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice or Rasam and rice.
We all love the flavour of curry leaves, so I add it quite late in the whole process, if you like it like you taste it in the sambhar tempering, then add it with the onions.