Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why worry when there's curry ?

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Curry has been the most popular Indian export to the world after zero ( :-D) especially to UK. Hundreds of curry houses exist at every nook and corner, and then you have the frozen..just heat and serve varieties staring out at you from the shelves at Sainsbury’s. Statistics report that half a million curries are eaten every day in the UK.

Before going any further, curry simply put, means a spicy, stew like dish which has gravy. The origin of this word has many different versions to it. Some say it came from the ‘karahi’ ( Indian wok like vessel used for making gravies), while some say it is from the north-indian ‘Kadhi’. The most acceptable version though seems that it is from the south-indian word (Tamil) ‘Kari’ meaning gravy or spiced sauce.

Also, not all curry’s are hot. There are mild curries and medium spiced curries. To make a hot curry mild, coconut milk is usually added.

The mere mention of Coconut, also conjures up another interesting culinary location situated in the South of India – Kerala. With a diverse set of population, ranging from the Hindus to the Syrian Christians to the Muslim community, Kerala offers an interesting menu of tasty fish delicacies to some popular vegan dishes also. The Kerala cuisine ( also called Pachakam in Malayalam, the local language) is spicy and uses lot of coconut in various forms.

This time around however, I bring the Malabar Mutton Curry which is cooked by the Kerala Muslim community called the Moplahs. Though the Moplahs are more famous for their Biryanis and chattipathri ( Malabar Cake), the mutton curry is also worth a try as it is tasty, not too spicy and not too greasy.

Ingredients :

Mutton/lamb - 1 Kg
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - 1 Tsp.
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 Tsp.
Corriander powder - 3 Tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp.
Black peppercorns - 1 Tsp.
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp.
Fennel seeds - 1/2 Tsp.
Cinnamon - 2" stick
Bay leaf - 1 No.
Cloves - 5 No.
Onions - 2 No. (Made into a paste)
Cashew nut paste - 2 Tsp.
Tomato - 2 No.
Coconut milk - 1 Cup
Salt – To Taste
Oil – 15 Ml

Method :

1. Grind together grated coconut, red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, corriander, turmeric, black peppercorns, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, bay leaf and cloves into a paste.

2. Heat oil in a wok.

3. Add the onion paste and fry the onions till they start turning brown.

4. Add the spice paste, sprinkle a little water and fry for 2 minutes on a low flame.

5. Add the mutton/lamb. Stir well and cook.

6. Add the chopped tomatoes and the cashew nut paste.

7. Add salt and water to cover the mutton pieces.

8. Cook until the meat is done. ( If there is a paucity of time, transfer to Pressure Cooker and cook ...will cook faster)

9. Add the coconut milk and allow it to simmer.

10. Serve with Rice.


ranji said...

wow curry loks delicous!!but i dont eat lamb so will substitue with chicken:)

TS said...

I don't eat meat...but this one looks interesting for my husband who loves such curries. Will try it!

cheers, trupti
The Spice Who Loved Me

Kevin said...

I like curries of all sorts. :) This one sounds nice and tasty. I like the use of the coconut, coconut milk and cashew nut paste!

srivalli said...

gaurav..that curry has that mean colour!..super duper!

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

The curry sounds interesting; like the trivia behind it. first time here & loving it. Nice blog Gaurav!

Gaurav said...

Thanks for the comments Deeba. The trivia actually has no end, esp. when you cross boundaries and start talking about Chicken Tikka Masala ...a brit invention and their national dish. Here I go again...

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