Every weekend, Sunday in particular, I try and cook different kinds of curries with chicken or mutton mostly. Some recipes call for elaborate processes and I’m rarely drawn to such. That’s why I put together a few ingredients myself and make a curry base that goes well with meat. This time I did it with green chilly. A simple paste of the chillies, whole black pepper, coconut, cumin and coriander make for good curry base. All you need to do is chop some onions and mix it in with the chicken and let it all cook together.
It sure is a challenge to find different ways of turning an ordinary chicken curry into a Sunday special curry. Besides, I look forward to Sunday curries – chicken or mutton. Having said that, I did make this Sunday’s chicken curry a tad special with freshly ground spices and curry leaves. I pictured in my mind a curry that’s dark in colour and deep in flavour. The colour I thought would come from whole pepper and curry leaves to give it a fragrant kick. And of course, I deseeded the Kashmiri chillies I used. It’s always better that way for me – all the colour and flavour, not too much of the heat. With some piping hot rice, my husband lapped it all up!
Mutton and potato gassi recipe
This is another Mangalorean style curry, only with mutton and potatoes. The masala is freshly ground and has coconut, turmeric, garlic and whole spices among others. It’s hearty and delicious. You can deseed the red chillies to avoid heat yet keep the colour. Dry roasting the spices brings out their natural flavours and gets rid of any raw like taste. My mother says dry roasting the shredded coconut also adds to the curry’s colour. I’m certain it alters the taste as well.
Potatoes are cooked with the mutton, so be careful not to cut them into small pieces. Else they’ll dissolve in the curry. But when cooked right, they take on all the favours of the mutton and spices and taste great!
Yield: Enough for 4 hungry people on a Sunday afternoon
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 30 -40 mins (depending on the mutton)
Mutton – 1 kg cut into pieces
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Onion – 1 large sliced
Potato – 3 cut into large cubes
Ghee to cook in
Salt to taste
For the masala:
Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup (roughly 60-70 gm)
Kashmiri/byadagi chillies (long red dried chillies) – 4 large or 7 medium ones (I deseeded two of them so it won’t turn out too spicy)
Gundu chillies (small round dried chillies) – 4
Garlic – 4 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) – 2 tsp
Coriander seeds (dhaniya) – 1 tsp
Peppercorn – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) – 1/4 tsp (or even less)
Cinnamon – 2 inch stick
Tamarind pulp – 3 tsp
Wash mutton and keep aside.
Heat a nonstick pan (tava/kadai) and dry roast coconut till it’s lightly toasted (refer to pic). Let it cool on a plate while you move on to the other ingredients.
Now roast the other whole spices together and keep aside.
In your blender blitz together the coconut, whole spices, turmeric, ginger, garlic and tamarind. Add a splash of water (1/4 to 1/2 cup) so it turns into a paste.
Heat ghee in pressure cooker and saute onions till translucent and soft.
Tip the mutton pieces in and let them brown on one side.
Add the ground masala and mix it all up. Add salt and have a taste. This is your chance to change whatever you want to change in the masala – add chilli powder if it isn’t hot enough, add more tamarind if it isn’t sour enough.
Add the potatoes.
Now add the coconut milk and 1 cup of water.
Let it come to a bubble on high heat, then put the lid on. Once two whistles are let out, lower the heat and let it cook slowly for exactly 20 mins. Take it off the heat and let the pressure drop on its own.
Open the lid and check how the mutton is cooked. Always check the bigger piece with bone. Mine was cooked so beautifully, when I lifted the piece the bone literally slid off the meat.
At this point the curry is done. But if you want to, you can add some more coconut milk to lighten it or not if you like the curry the way it is.
Garnish with coriander leaves if you’d like.
Serve with rice or roti.