Thursday, October 30, 2008

Raisin Pickle aka Unakka Munthiri Achaar

Munthiri Pickle” sounds familiar?

No ???

How about “Appachan’s Munthiri Pickle” ?

Aahhhh….now I see a large chunk of Keralites staying abroad nodding their heads with a playful smile :)

For those who are wondering if I have gone nuts, here is the background; this is from a popular Malayalam sitcom, Akkarakazchakal that is catching up like wildfire among the Malayalees staying abroad as well as the YouTube fans. Presented in a truly realistic backdrop, with an undertone of sarcasm paired beautifully with plain humour, it revolves around the life of a middle class Malayalee family, settled in US of A and people associated with them. A particular episode paints how Appachan, a typical “Naattinpurathukaaran”, an old man from a rural town in Kerala, visiting his son and family, tries to spend his spare time by digging up their backyard and creating a small vegetable patch along with some grapevines. Our beloved Appachan has been dreaming of making wine with these grapes but when it starts falling off, the old man resorts to making some pickles with it. As it turns out, the pickled grapes becomes a major hit among their friends and eventually they start selling the pickled grapes, under the brand name, “Appachan’s Munthiri Pickle” in line with the famous brand, “Grandma’s Pickle” !!

Well, when they repeated this humble culinary invention from Appachan, in a couple of episodes, it slowly started tickling my ever-active 24/7 craving department. I seriously pondered over the idea of someone from the production crew, “Infamous Coconut Production” sharing the recipe for Appachan’s Munthiri Pickle!!!! Yeah…I know….I am that desperate and stupid at times!

Lazy me, didn’t even bother to experiment pickling a batch of grapes and life moved on…… few weeks later, while searching for some xyz thing, I stumbled upon Sarah’s blog with a recipe for raisin pickle! Though it was not a one with fresh grapes, somehow the recipe sounded charming and interesting, especially with my weakness for sweet-savoury dishes. And then I threw the idea at CJJ who is generally not fond of any sweet-savoury combo but surprisingly he showed interest saying that it might taste like his favourite date pickle. As I got the green signal, I made a batch of that raisin pickle and voila, we were floored!!! It IS addictive. If you are feeling blue that festival of lights and crackers is over, you should try this condiment which is literally a burst of contrasting flavours that complement well with each other. Imagine the sweet raisins soaked and drenched in the sharpness of vinegar , spiced up with hot chilly powder and flavored with pungent ginger and garlic, dancing on your palate……give it a try, it goes well with spicy curried meat or vegetable and Biryani , in particular.

I followed Sarah’s recipe and methods closely except in the proportion of ginger, garlic and green chillies. I took a tablespoon each of these three ingredients for a tightly packed cup of sun-dried raisins. The only thing I would do differently next time is to reduce the amount of vinegar a little bit or use a less stronger one.

Thank you, Sarah for sharing this wonderful recipe …we enjoy it thoroughly :)

No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi – A condiment with dried prawns…..

A steaming plate of fluffy rice with a drizzle of golden ghee ........the whiff of divinity sure enough to tickle anyone's that add a pinch of Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi and then it is ready to delight your palate……


..... a hot bowl of thick and creamy plump rice soup, Kanji flavored with a dash of salt and a sprinkling of Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi….scoop some with a plavila, jackfruit leaf………… get a whiff of that earthy smell of the fresh plavila, jackfruit leaf when it holds that hot rice soup coupled with the delightful taste of Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi……hmm…..that sure can make me salivate!!!

Pungent dried prawns ground with freshly grated coconut, spiced up with dry red chillies and black peppercorns and fresh herbs like ginger, shallots and curry leaves and spruced up with a touch of is a mouthwatering condiment that has reigned my palate right from my childhood days. One of those dishes that is sure to transport you back home for few minutes………………either you love it or simply ignore it !

  • 1 cup fried dried prawns/Unakka Chemmeen
  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut
  • 8 dry red chillies ( depends on how hot you want)
  • 1 small red pearl onion/shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • A very small piece of ginger
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • A small drop of tamarind paste or a very small piece
  • Salt to taste
  • In a shallow pan, warm up the fried dried prawns along with dry red chillies and thinly sliced onions without burning any of the ingredients, for 1-2 minutes, or until the fried dried prawns starts to shine and release its oil. Transfer this to the smallest jar of a mixer and add rest of the ingredients and swirl for 1-2 minutes until everything is ground coarsely and holds together.
  • Pour everything to a small serving bowl….or with your palms, shape the ground mixture into one big ball or as shape them into small individual balls as my grandma used to serve.
  • Serve with Kanji or Kutharai Choru


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mutton Liver Fry…..

If someone out there is dreaming about writing an international best seller I guess you should consider this topic, Young Bride’s Culinary Blunders and if you proceed with it, please do feel free to contact me if you want stories for your introductory chapters. I started my saga from the third day of marriage by shocking my mother-in-law, asking a very genuine doubt on making a simple stir-fry with green grams, Cherupayar Olathiyathu. Her eyes popped out of the socket when I asked her if a tall glass tumbler of green grams is enough for two people! The courage to even pose such a question or to initiate a query on cooking came from the experience of scribbling some basic recipes in a small notebook, two days before my marriage with the help of my mother and aunts. She stared at me with a scary look for almost 4-5 seconds before answering that only a couple handfuls of lentils are required!

Just when I was mastering the art of identifying the identical twins in the kitchen- cumin and coriander powder-, my youngest brother in law dropped the bomb by calling us to let us know that he would be spending a weekend with us!! I drafted a menu with attention to every detail and prayed to all the culinary gods but on the first day at dinner time, our whole house smelled of stinking flower, garlic!!! No, I wasn’t making roasted garlic soup….I was venturing to make a simple paneer masala and to my utter embarrassment it turned out to be my signature garlic paneer!!!! Those days I was under the impression that the more you add the base ingredients, the tastier it would be!! There started the realization that there is a concept of balancing the flavours!

Ohh…how could I forget our first visit to the local farmer’s market??? I showed utmost care in picking out the fresh veggies and everything was going fine until I reached the man selling green chillies. Very casually, with confidence oozing out of my face, I asked the seller in my broken tamil, “Annaa….oru kilo milaku kodunge”. The man just stared at me as though I was talking some foreign language. Thinking that he was having trouble deciphering my anglicized tamil, I made one more attempt, this time in English, “Annaa….1 kilo green chillies” ……….the man was still speechless…..and the way CJJ turned and glanced at me, made me realize that there was something wrong…….so this time, I asked “….1/2 kilo green chillies”. At that moment I noticed a grin on the face of the seller and I was still puzzled. Luckily, before I humiliated myself more, CJJ came to rescue and asked the man to pack 100gm chillies and whispered into my ears,” Did you have any plans to make Biryani for hundred people……??” hmm…..I don’t think that would even pass the rookie mistake category!

Well, these are a couple episodes from my initial days of cooking. Luckily, my learning curve was quite steady and progressive. I really began to believe that blunders in the kitchen were a thing of the apprentice training until last month when we visited a meat shop in Chicago. At the counter, they had lined up an assortment of meats and there was a tray with different organ meats. With my standard “I-know-everything” look, I asked the person in the counter, pointing to the tray of organ meats, “I need some liver….is that lamb liver or mutton liver?” . At that moment I noticed a puzzled look …the same look I saw on the face of the green chilly seller years ago and then he softly pointed his fingers and said, “ those are kidneys…..the one at the end is goat liver”!!!!!!!

When do I stop my making such blunders????? How many more to this list??? I don’t know!!!

Cooking mutton liver is a tricky affair. If you add more water or if you cook for more than the required time, it turns the organ meat into a rubber-like texture. A rightly timed liver fry should be cooked to soft and adjusting the cooking time comes with practice. This was the first time I tried cooking something from the organ meat category and mine did not turn out as soft as my mother’s preparations. Though I have adjusted the cooking time and water content based on my experience, I suggest you keep an eye on the cooking time and temperature. This is a spicy pepper-y preparation and am sure you will love the taste.

Ingredients for Mutton Liver Fry:

To marinate:

  • ½ kg Mutton (Goat) Liver , washed and diced into small pieces
  • 1 ½ tsp Coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chilly powder
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp homemade masala Powder/Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2tbsp water
To Fry:
  • ¾ cup small red pearl onion/shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 Indian green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp homemade Masala Powder/Garam Masala
  • 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Marinate liver with powdered spices, ginger garlic paste and salt and leave it on the kitchen counter for 10-15 minutes.
  • Place the marinated liver in a small pan and sprinkle water and cover with a lid. Heat this on medium-high heat for the first 4 minutes and then once the liver starts to produce water, reduce the heat to low. Let it cook for another 4-5 minutes in low heat. Once the meat is almost cooked, turn off the stove.
  • In another shallow pan, heat coconut oil and sauté thinly sliced small red pearl onions/shallots and green chillies, till the edges start to turn golden colour. To this add the ‘almost done’ mutton liver and blend with the onion base. If it is too dry at this stage, add one or two tablesppon of water. Now sprinkle ½ tsp pepper powder and ½ tsp masala powder and tear a sprig of curry leaves and let it cook/roast in low flame; Stir often to make sure that the masala does not stick to the pan. Now do a taste-test and check if the liver is cooked and still soft. If the meat is at the right stage of doneness, slide everything to one side of the pan and on the other side, pour 1 tbsp ghee, wait for 30 seconds and then bring the liver masala to the centre and blend well. Tear the second sprig of curry leaves, add to the Liver Fry. These finishing touches gives a hint of richness and fragrance to the entire dish. Turn off the stove and let it rest for 30 minutes before serving. Goes well with yogurt/ ground coconut base curries.
Related Posts:

Mutton Fry Beef Stew Chicken Roast - Kuttanadan Style Mutton Curry

Before I sign off, let me ask you………Have you ever been in such shameless situations? If you have any interesting kitchen blunders, please comfort me without your stories :)


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kaayasoottu ? Or one more to the list of snacks with identity crisis?

I think it was almost towards the end of the first year of my blogging that I added a note to my blog title, “Rekindling the memories and Re-creating the forgotten taste…” At that point in time I was not conscious of the depth and spectrum of the word, “The forgotten taste..”. Till two days back, it meant the taste of my childhood….the taste of teenage and early adulthood….the taste of those days I spent with my family and friends. Sometimes, it was the taste I was beginning to forget or the taste and smell of my homeland or the taste I was unable to recreate in my American kitchen but it was never the taste I literally forgot or the taste that has been completely washed away from the shores of my memory lake…………….

Last time the culprit was Mathew and this time it is Maria who ignited my chamber of taste memories. As a comment for my previous post, she left a note for me,” hi shn, we make this at home & we call it unda payasam. we also add steamed or fried banana along with this. It's one of my fav palaharams :)” Hmm….steamed banana in coconut milk…?? I have tasted something like that!!!! I knew that it was part of my childhood …I knew that I know this dish!!! The image was blurred and the taste memory was vague…I was not sure if I had it at my grandma’s or at my mother’s. Yet, I knew it was one of my favourite evening snacks….. Winding back, digging up those days, it was hard this time. After 8 or 9 hours, I found a strip of light to the past….I could see the little me sitting on a wooden bench in my grandma’s kitchen and slurping a spoonful of steaming thick cream of coconut with some quartered pieces of ripe plantain, from a stainless steel plate !! What was vague and blurred few hours ago, was now dancing on my palate as taste dolls……the natural sweetness from the ripe plantains, the creaminess of the coconut milk …..I could almost feel it on my tongue….yet, I could not figure out what was that secret ingredient that gave the distinct flavour and a whiff of fragrance.

The next day I was talking to my parents and sharing all the possible traditional names you all left here, for the snack I featured a couple days back. Suddenly I heard my mother saying,” aah….there is one more thing Amma used to make…instead of rice flour balls, fully ripe plantain was cooked in coconut milk and then flavored with a hint of cardamom.” At that moment, I was amazed at the synchronization of our thoughts. And yes, it was the cardamom that gave a unique twist to such a simple lovely snack!!

You guessed it right…I recreated it in my kitchen following my mother’s suggestions and guess what, it was the same taste and the smell that pleased the palate of a 8 or 9 year old, decades ago :) I was delighted with each spoonful though it lacked my grandma’s Kaipunyam, the magic from a blessed hand and the sweetness of the native variety of plantains available in Kerala. Here’s how I made it:

  • 1 fully ripe plantain, peeled and diced into small quarters
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk/Randaampaal
  • ¾ cup thick coconut milk/Thanipaal
  • 8 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 2 whole cardamom crushed
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice flour
  • 2 tbsp water or thin coconut milk
  • In a sauce-pot, heat diced pieces of plantain and thin coconut milk together; bring to a boil, in medium heat. Now reduce the heat, add sugar and cook until the plantain pieces are fully cooked and soft. Meanwhile mix rice flour with water and make a creamy paste (this works as a thickener) and add to the pot and blend well with the coconut milk for a minute; add thick coconut milk, cover with lid and let it cook in medium heat, until bubbles start to pop up. At this stage, it should have the consistency of Payasam. Add more sugar if required. If it is still liquid-y at this stage, reduce heat and let it simmer for some more time in low heat. Just a minute before turning off the stove, add the crushed cardamom and stir well. Turn off the stove and let it rest for 20-30 minutes and serve warm.
Well, again I don’t know the name of this snack…. :-) My mother is uncertain but doubts that my granny used to call this as ‘Kaayasoottu’. Though she checked with her sister, both of them are not able to confirm it. I should be happy that atleast I could revive a real forgotten taste of my childhood even if I fail to find the name!

Readers, you are welcome to drop a line if you know the traditional/regional/household name of this snack but no guesses and assumptions please. :)

Dear Maria, Thank YOU for this tasty experience :)

UPDATED on Oct 19th, 2008: Based on comments, this snack is also known as Ethakka Kurukkiyathu, Pazham Kurukku and Ethappazham Stew.


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A note of Thanks & Update....

Dear Friends,

A ton of thanks to all those who took time and dropped a line responding to my request for finding the traditional name of a snack. I have updated my previous post with information collected based on your comments, mails and an article published in a Kerala magazine.

Kindly check the post for the updates.

Thanks Again
No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can someone from Kerala help me find the name of this snack?

A conversation between mother and her bloggie daughter….

Daughter: Mummyy….I was thinking of posting that kutti unda in coconut milk…you know, the one you used to make for our evening snack time…..

Mother: Which one……? I don’t remember…

Daughter: Mummyyy …the one I like a lot…that small rice flour balls…and you used to soak that in sweetened coconut milk….remember?

Mother: aah…. I remember now….yeah , that’s a good one can write about it…

Daughter: But I don’t know its name….is there any traditional name for it?

Mother: hmm….I am not aware……

Daughter: ….but how can I post it without a name….? It is somewhat similar to Kozhukkatta…I mean look-wise….so….. shall I say…… Kutti-kozhukkatta in thenga-paal or undayum paalum?

Mother: yeah….write something like that……we don’t have any specific name for it…..
Well, this has been a recurring situation in many of my casual conversations with my mother whenever I approach her for some recipe which is my childhood favorite and have no clue on the actual name of the dish. Sometimes my father comes up with the name he is familiar with but in this particular case, he couldn’t be of any help either. This is one of my favorite Palahaaram/snack which my mother always prepared for our after school snack and naturally, I wanted to record this recipe in my blog but I was in a dilemma as I did not want to do the blasphemy of baptizing a snack that has been around for almost a century…….!!!!

These tiny rounds made of softly cooked rice flour is steamed first and then immediately soaked in sweetened rice flour, is a classic example of harmony between coconut milk and rice flour. The subtle and delicate flavor of the sweetened coconut milk embraces the warm steamed dumplings which absorbs the liquid like a sponge, making it more soft and sweet. Here’s how we make this at home:

  • 1 cup rice flour,lightly roasted
  • Salt to taste
  • Around 1 cup hot boiling water or enough to make a smooth dough
  • 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • Start with mixing rice flour and salt; to this add the boiling hot water, just enough to make a soft and smooth dough; use a spoon to blend everything well and when it is warm enough to touch, knead gently and make tiny balls. The balls should not be pressed too much to round them (Note: the dough should be looser than the chappathi/roti dough but as soft as the Idiyappam/string-hoppers dough)
  • Place these tiny rice flour balls, in a steamer or Idly –steamer or on a plate, in a pressure cooker without keeping the weight, filled with enough water, and steam for 12 minutes, or till it is fully cooked, in medium heat.
  • Sweeten the coconut milk with sugar; transfer the steamed dumplings and soak them in coconut milk when they are still warm/hot. Let the dumplings rest in the sweetened coconut milk for 10-15 minutes before serving.
I would really appreciate if someone from Kerala could help me find the household name or traditional name, if any, of this snack. Some of you might ask me, “what’s in a name as long as it is tasty?”. Well, it matters to me! :) This is one of those traditional snacks - the ‘prepared-at-homes-only’ category - which you cannot find in a small town tea shop or restaurant or bakery and if someone wants to recreate these dishes decades later, they should be able to locate and retrieve the recipe with a simple Google search and I believe, blogs have the reach as well as responsibility towards the same. We can preserve these recipes before it goes extinct and hence, finding out the actual name or the regional name or household name is very significant, atleast to me.

So, my regular readers, blogger friends, new visitors, subject experts and dear ghost readers….do you make this at home? What do you call it? Is there a regional name ? It means a lot to me if you can take a minute to drop a line and throw some light into identifying the name of this snack.

Am I asking too much? :)

Related Posts:
Kanji pidi Ela Ada Kozhukkatta

Updated on Oct 14, 2008:

Thank YOU all for responding to my request and helping me find an answer or atleast help me come close to an answer. Based on your comments and an email I got from my cousin as well as discussion with my parents, I have come to conclusion that this snack which I have featured here is the quick and easy version of Mani-puttu, Thengapaal Kozhukkatta and Allipidi. My conclusion was based on these articles and blogs given below:

Allipidi: Many of you had commented that it is allipidi and it was the first time I was hearing that name! Hence, when Swapna commented that she had read an article in a Kerala Magazine, Vanitha , I requested her to scan that article and share with me. Swapna went out of her way and photographed the entire article for me; here I am sharing those pictures with you all.

Based on that piece of article, I learnt that Allipidi is an elaborate version of what I have blogged; as per the magazine recipe, the small balls made of softly cooked rice flour dough is cooked in coconut milk and sweetened with sugar and finally flavored with powdered spices like cumin, dry ginger and cardamom.

Thengapaal Kozhukkatta/Paal Kozhukkatta: Based on your comment, I took a virtual trip and landed on Archana’s blog where she has featured this dish. According to her, “Thengappal kozhukatta is a simpler, soupy presentation of these dumplings made by cooking rice dough balls in coconut milk. Served in coconut milk thickened with some rice flour, this recipe is all about flour, flour and more flour.” So, there also the main point of difference is cooking the dumplings in coconut milk.

Mani-puttu: There were many readers who commented that it is Mani-puttu and the same day itself I had a mail from my cousin stating that it is Mani-Puttu. So I was almost ready to zero down on that one but Veenajan commented that she has blogged a similar recipe and it is Maniputtu. On checking out her page, again I noticed the mild variation of cooking the dumplings in coconut milk. And at this point, my mother has expressed a doubt that mani-puttu is steamed in Puttu kutti with a sprinkling of grated coconut and eaten plain and I guess my reader, Jisha is also taking about the same thing.

As much as I am confused, I am beginning to believe that the recipe I have featured is a very simplified version of all these three snacks as the major point of difference is the boiling part of coconut milk and hence I guess I can safely call this, Quick & Easy Mani-puttu, Allipidi, Thengapaal Kozhukkatta! Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong and do drop a message here if someone knows the exact name :)

Thanks a ton to all readers and blog buddies who helped me with this :)

No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Masala Powder/Garam Masala aka The Aromatic Indian Spice Mix….

That small magic container in your mother’s kitchen cabinet……….a pinch of it spruces up that simmering bowl of spicy curried meat or a steaming pot of stewed vegetables…………..The essence that lends the authentic taste…………the aroma that awakens your senses and makes you float in the clouds of spice heaven……….a secret of many kitchens but a mystery to some!!

Here’s the delightful spice mix from my mother’s kitchen …..the aroma and taste of her kitchen that defined ‘my’ reference point for ‘authentic’ !

Grind …….
  • 1/8 cup fennel seeds/Perinjeerakam
  • 4 flat Indian cinnamon sticks of 2 ¼ inch length/Karukapatta
  • 3-4 cardamoms/Elakkaya
  • 10 cloves/Grampoo
  • 1 star anise/Thakkolam
… a fine powder in a coffee grinder or the smallest jar of the mixer/blender…..

Sometimes this spice mixture is used towards the end of cooking to make the dish more rich and elegant and sometimes it is also used in the preliminary stages of cooking, along with other powdered spices. Use it sparingly or as per the recipe instructions as a small amount of sprinkling goes a long way.

Here’s the list of recipes where I have used my mother’s Masala Powder/Garam Masala/Indian Spice Mix:

Meat Cutlets Meat Rolls in White Sauce Chemmeen eerkiliyil kuthi varuthathu Kappa Biriyani Erachi Puttu Prawns Stir Fry Mutton Curry

Store it in a small airtight container in a dry place. Do not let moisture get into the container by way of opening the jar on a simmering dish and transfer directly from it, instead use a dry teaspoon to take out the mix and add to the dish. Remember to close the lid immediately after opening as it helps to lock in the aroma as well as the strength of the essence. Similarly, it is always better to make in small quantities and store as it loses the flavour and strength when it lies around for a long time.

Well….that’s it…go and spice up your dishes with the magic wand of sprinkles :)


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kerala Mutton Curry…

Let me start with a request. After reading this post, some of you might think that I am touting my own horns here. Well, I cannot blame you if you conclude that way but honestly that is definitely not my intention here. As most of the things come under the category of “accidental” in my life, this one also is not an exception. I am just chronicling a magical moment in my personal-chef life!

Well, some of my regular readers are aware of a particular situation in my life that I don’t compete with my mother in law to reproduce the magic from her kitchen, but I have tried to bring home the taste of the food cooked by some ‘lungi’ clad guy working in a small scale restaurant at the capital city of Kerala, as CJJ always fancies the food he tasted from restaurants like Chinnus, Ambalapattu and many others in that small junction at Kersavadasapuram. That said, I should also mention that I was trying to recreate a taste I haven’t experienced in my lifetime but my husband has. I was competing with a Pachakakkaran/local chef whose food I have never tasted in my life. But over the course of time, I realized that I was shooting in the darkness and slowly got over that ‘mysterious standard’ I was always aiming at.

Life moved on……from blunders to some edible stuff, from average to good. But one day I guess my lucky stars slightly changed their jogging route and that day at lunch time, I heard the most unbelievable words from him, “mm…mm….ohhhh…ethu Ambalapatte beef curry polundu” meaning “it tastes like the beef curry at Ambalapattu”!!!!!!! Well, what I served was Mutton curry (!!) but what I heard at that moment was more than I could ever imagine. It was a bolt from the blue……I sat there in total disbelief…..I couldn’t take my eyes off of him……..I know I should have noted the time and date to mark the historical moment in my culinary adventures but I just couldn’t, not for 1-2 minutes but it took almost a week for me to verify the restaurant name again.!

I hesitated to cook Mutton curry for more than a month after that…as I was doubtful if I would be able to recreate the same magic again and pressure was building on me whenever he opened the freezer and saw the meat packets. Finally, I gained some guts and rolled up my sleeves and made it again……and he relished……. and has now begun to admit that mutton is tastier than beef which was his weakness till then.

My friends, please don’t think that this is some exotic dish that I whipped up from nowhere, using some mysterious spices. It is either because perhaps CJJ has begun to forget the taste from his bachelor days and his palate is getting used to my cooking or because some minor changes I made here and there was enough to tickle his taste memories and resembled something like the dish he always fancied. I don’t know!!!! I used my mother’s homemade masala powder to my Mutton Fry recipe, made some additions and deductions here and there and voila, I got my magical Mutton curry! With the food blogger sword hanging on my head all the time, I was wise enough to scribble the measurements the first time I cooked and here is how I made it. Btw, this is my magical Mutton curry, it may or may not be your magical one :)

Ingredients: (Approx.)

To Pressure cook:
  • Around ½ to ¾ kg fresh mutton (goat meat) with bones, cubed and washed
  • 4tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 ½ tsp chilly powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp freshly crushed black pepper
  • 2 to 4 Indian green chillies, slit opened lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • ½ cup big onion, thinly sliced (around one small size big onion)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
To Sauté:
  • ¾ cup big onions, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup small read pearl onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Indian green chillies, slit opened lengthwise
  • 2 tsp Homemade Masala Powder/Garam Masala
  • 2 -3 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • Marinate the cubed pieces of meat with everything listed under “pressure cook”, except water for about 15-20 minutes and then pour water and pressure cook until meat is cooked well.
  • In a large sauce pot, heat the coconut oil and sauté thinly sliced small onions, big onions and green chillies , in low flame, until it starts to turn transparent. Tear off half of the curry leaves and add to this. Now, add the pressure cooked meat, along with gravy produced and stir well; cook covered, in medium heat and bring to a boil. Now add the homemade masala powder (keep a pinch or two aside for the final sprinkling) and stir well with the curried meat. Reduce heat and let it cook till the gravy starts to thicken a bit. Now do a taste-test and adjust the salt. Just two minutes before turning off the heat, add some more curry leaves and sprinkle a pinch or two of masala powder, kept aside earlier which leaves the dish with a wonderful aroma of fresh curry leaves and spices. Turn off the stove when the gravy is thick enough. Let it rest for 30-40 minutes before serving as it takes time for all the spices and masala to come together.
  • Serve warm with rice or Palappam (Laced pancakes), chappathi or porotta (Indian flat breads). This dish attains its real flavour after a couple of hours from cooking and tastes the best, the next day!!
Related Posts

Mutton Fry Beef Stew Chicken Roast - Kuttanadan Style

I will post the Masala powder/Garam Masala recipe within 2-3 days…so if someone is planning to try this dish, please wait till I post the spice mix recipe.


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.