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.
It’s very hot here in Gurgaon and I’m keeping things light. Even my Sunday curries. No heavy masala to weigh me down and bring out the meat sweats. A delicious curry with a few spices that are meant to be cooling and some coconut milk makes it so good. It still is a spicy curry but without a ton of masala in it. The spices I used were peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. I ground it with some fresh coconut and cooked the chicken in it with the coconut milk. With some rice and roti, this was an awesome Sunday lunch.
Leftover greens in the fridge make for great curry bases. In this case I had a bunch of palak that were on the verge of wilting on their own. So I added some methi and coriander to the mix and cooked some chicken in it. It was perfectly light and delicious. As summer crawls back into our lives, food must also get lighter. Heavy masala based curries gives me the sweats and keeping Sunday lunches light is my main goal this summer. Even the spices I used were mostly pepper, coriander, cumin and fenugreek seeds. Helps cool off the body. No wonder these spices are a huge part of Mangalorean cuisine.
Too many curries have happened in the past so let’s just do a dry dish this time. I love my mutton and I love it with spices. I have no patience to slow cook mutton for an hour. I pressure cook it and it’s absolutely soft and delicious. This time I saved the stock to use it in a noodle soup and the mutton went into the dry dish. A simple spice mix of whole spices dry roasted and blended together made this simply perfect. It’s also quite easy because it takes a basic tomato-onion base and this spice mix with mutton.
I’ve made Thai curry plenty times before and more often it’s been the red kind. I don’t have a reason why I never made the green one. But it’s never too late. Sunday lunch it was. In the red curry, Kashmiri chillies give it the colour and in yellow, it’s turmeric. For the green one, it’s green chillies, coriander and lemon leaves. Of course, I made the paste at home. Besides these three ingredients, there’s lemongrass, ginger (or galangal), garlic, cumin and shallots. It’s fragrant and delicious. You can alter the number of chillies according to how spicy you want it. I went a little low on these.
Another chicken curry. This one’s easy too. It’s always an easy curry for me when it’s got freshly ground spices and coconut milk. Trust me, I’d rather take 2 mins to grind the spices than sit and chop heaps of onions and tomatoes for the curry base. Marinate the chicken in chilli powder, yoghurt and ginger garlic paste overnight. Next afternoon, cook it with some sliced onions (not one kilo or something, I promise), ground spice paste and coconut milk. Simple. Great with rice, of course. And if you’re on a low carb sort of diet, swap the mustard oil for coconut or olive, skip the onions and up the coconut milk. Have it like stew.
Almost every weekend I’ve been cooking mutton for lunch. And more often than I’d like, they have been on the spicier side. I’m all for it, but when the husband’s stomach doesn’t always agree with the spices, it’s nice to take a small break from them. That’s why the mutton stew. Mutton is cooked in a fresh coconut paste with a couple of chillies (I need *some* heat for heaven’s sake), peppercorns and coconut milk. Mildly spiced and full of flavour, this one also has potatoes and carrots. Careful though, the veggies can easily breakdown when cooked with the mutton. You can pre cook them and add it to the stew after the mutton has been cooked.
Have you seen those red squashes in supermarkets that says kokum juice? It’s mostly made during summers at home because of its cooling properties. It is also great to relieve acid reflux. I recently bought some and used it in my mutton curry. It acts as a souring agent lending a touch of sweetness to the curry. All you need to do is soak the kokum in warm water for it to release its juices. Then add the whole thing to your curry. Even the kokum. It tastes great once the sourness has toned down.
You know that one time when you least expected something to turn out as you wanted it to and it actually turns out spectacular? That was this mutton curry for me. I even did a little jig when I scooped a little gravy with my finger and shoved it into my mouth to taste it. I’d stumbled on this recipe on YouTube and bookmarked it to make it on a Sunday. Don’t judge me, but I’m the pressure cooking kind when it’s mutton. I’ve tried slow cooking it when I made mutton korma and as it turns out, it really doesn’t make a world of difference to its taste. If anything, I save on resources with my pressure cooker.
A good fish curry is an absolute favourite of mine. Ideally, fish curries at home are made with sardines and mackerels. Sear fish (surmai) is usually pan fried. I made my curry with rohu fish. Full of bones yet works very well with Mangalorean curries. I already had the spice paste from the kori sukka I’d made. I just simmered the fish in this spice paste with tamarind water and my curry was ready.