Good day Ladies! For years I enjoyed thick and rich curries. When I began to make them myself I quickly realized that they were rich and thick because of the method. The thick, luscious gravies were not developed from a roux, but by grinding many of the ingredients and sautéing to maximise flavors. The seasonings blend with natural meat juices from the meat.
This recipe has been a favorite for many years. I think of it as a base recipe, and is flexible according to your taste buds. I use less chilies, and probably a little extra coconut. I add a handful of cilantro leaves too. This recipe calls for adding a bit of water, but I consider that optional. Note that this dish is referred to as Mutton Green Masala. Mutton, in India, is not old sheep, but young lamb, and very likely more like what we call goat meat. In the United States, I usually buy a leg of lamb, and cut the meat into stew-sized pieces. It would be a great idea to have the butcher cut the bone in several pieces for you. Cook the bone with the meat for richer flavor. Cooking with the bone in the pot adds many more nutrients too.
Mutton Green Masala (Lamb with Green herb and spice blend)
- Mutton – 1 1/2 pounds, cut into stew meat
- Avocado oil, coconut oil or ghee– 4 tbsp
- Grated coconut – 1/4 cup (I use approx 1/2 cup.) This is usually found in the freezer section. If you cannot find this, use dried, unsweetened coconut, but add an extra tablespoon or so of oil.
- Onion – 1 – large – chopped
- Ginger – ( 1/2 inch piece)
- Garlic – 8 flakes
- Green chillies – 4. (I do 2; it is easier to add more if the dish is not spicy enough, but do not omit; their flavor adds to the dish.)
- Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup – chopped
- Red chili – 1
- Mint leaves – 1 cup
- Tamarind juice/paste – 1/2 tbsp. In most grocery store, but for sure, in any Caribbean market, or Indian store!
- Peppercorns – 4
- Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
- Green cardamom – 1 – peeled
- Cloves – 2
- Poppy seeds – 1/4 tsp (I use white poppy seeds, but either will do.)
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Tomatoes – 1 medium – chopped
- Salt – 1 tbsp or tor taste
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan for about 30 seconds, Roast the grated coconut until pale brown, remove and keep aside.
- Now in the same pan add 1 tbsp of oil, and fry onions until pale brown and remove and keep aside.
- Take a blender or mixer, and grind the onions, coconut, ginger, garlic, green chilies, coriander leaves, tamarind, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, poppy seeds and cumin seeds, along with 1/4 cup water to form a smooth paste.
- In a heavy pan, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, and heat it for about 1 minute, then add the ground paste and stir-fry this paste for about 3 minutes, then add the turmeric powder, tomatoes and salt and fry till tomatoes are pulpy and oil begins to separate. Now add the meat and the water and mix well.
- Keep temperature on high until heated through, or just ready to begin boiling. Simmer and cook for about 30 to 45 minutes, until meat is tender and cooked through.
- I like to allow it to rest for awhile before serving to allow flavors to marry, but feel free to serve immediately.
- Garnish with butter and chopped coriander and/or mint leaves.
Serve hot with rice or rice bread.
This recipe may seem a bit more involved the first couple of times you make it, but it is extraordinarily delicious and worth the effort if you enjoy lamb, and Indian food. Incidentally, I would think this same basic masala mixture would work great for chicken – especially thighs, or a mix of pieces. I would not hesitate to try it with any meat. If I chose beef stew meat, I’d omit the mint, and use Parsley in its place.