From what was going to be a good old Sunday mutton curry, an improv in the ground masala turned it into something totally different and ten notches better than the regular curry. What happened was that a tip from my mother occurred to me – roasting coconut till it is brown gives a rich colour to the curry and makes it a lot more tasty. It was probably that, and the curry leaves I toasted and threw into the masala to grind. This can obviously work with chicken too.
I use Kashmiri chillies and more often than not, I deseed them to control the heat in the dish. Even with this one, I deseeded the chillies and used a couple of whole bedagi chillies. The regular ones available in the market are extremely hot so I stick with only the Kashmiri and bedagi. You could use any of them, of course.
Mutton on the bone – 700-800 gm
Onions – 2 large sliced
Ginger – 1/2 inch chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves chopped
Coconut milk – 1/2 cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp
For the masala:
Coconut – 3/4 cup grated
Peppercorns – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Poppy seeds/khus khus – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds/saunf – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cardamom – 4
Dried red chillies – 2 large Kashmiri deseeded, 3 regular whole
Curry leaves – handful
Dry roast the coconut till it changes colour to light brown. It should ideally looks like beach sand. Keep it aside to cool.
Now roast the chillies, cardamom and cinnamon. Take it off once fragrant.
In go the peppercorns, coriander seeds and fennel seeds. Once fragrant and toasted, take them off the heat.
Toss the curry leaves in and roast till they’re dry and crisp.
Grind all these ingredients in your blender with some water to make a paste.
Heat the ghee and tip the onions in. Saute till they’re nicely caramelized. It should take around 12-15 mins.
Add the ginger and garlic at this point. Mix well.
Tip the masala in along with the mutton and mix them all well.
Add coconut milk, salt and a cup of water. Don’t add too much water else the curry will be very thin. You want it thick for this one.
Cook slowly if you’d like or if you’re doing it in a pressure cooker, cook on high heat with the lid and whistle weight on till 2 whistles are out. Then cook on low heat for exactly 20 mins. Let the pressure drop on its own.
Your curry is done. Garnish with fried onions if you want to or serve it as it is with roti or rice.