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 :)


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  1. I have been following your blog and my first comment here. That liver dish looks awesome. My mouth is watering.

  2. Lol..Lol..Mish,i think if you write a book on this,it will be the best seller for sure..As i started my shopping in supermarkets,i didnt encounter with "1 kg chilly" like incident.I was almost expecting such things and thats why opted for supermarkets..
    My cooking experiments started with a "puttu" making catastrophe.But just imagine i was only 12 then and it was just to impress my parents when they return home from shopping..I was under the impression that puttu making is such a silly affair and i just mixed half a glass of water to almost half kilogram rice flour.While waiting for the steam,I was dreaming about the excitement,the compliments i was going to bag and so on..Finally parents came,they came to me who is waiting for the steam even then..They were puzzled and mom guessed suddenly whats happening.When she poured the flour from puttukutty to the plate,I was there puzzled..In the midst of bursting laughs I couldnt understand anything,only till my mom asked me to taste what i made !! rest you can imagine..
    Cooking is a serious affair na ?
    Its wonderful and passionate..(you may be knowing atleast 10 who doesnt know the art of cooking even when they turn 50 !)
    btw,the picture is yummy..But i am not into liver...

  3. I haven't made liver in a while...gotta get me some liver soon.. :) And about blunders in the kitchen, don't worry, you are not alone..I still find myself in some embarassing situations... :)

  4. Hi Mishmash... great to see ur comment on my blog... felt like getting certified, ya I really value ur comment that much...!! I closely follow ur blog too... I am really amazed by the way you present ur dishes.... I know how difficult it is to post a recipe alone... So I can't imagine the dedication you have in presenting your posts with wonderful elaborate background stories along with extraordinary snaps.... I must say, I am really impressed...!!

    from kaipunyam.

  5. Dear Shn, I am a big fan of yours. I tried your briyanis and now my friends are requesting more of it. I just want to let you know that I have linked your blog to my (non-professional) blog. I hope you don't mind. Keep up with your mouth watering them so much!!!

    cambridge, UK

  6. LOL! All of us seem to have sailed in the same boat.

  7. Hi--I was reading ur post and recollecting my blunders--I made several too during my initial cooking forays...I too believed that by adding more of the basic masalas n spices to a dish, the tastier it wud be...fortunately for me these attempts happened before I got married, so only my parents n sister "suffered", altho' they still loyally insist that I was 'innovative'. I can still remember one particular time I made pav bhaji -the more accurate name wud have been garlic chilli potato mash!The veggies being lost somewhere in between all the masalas :-D Thank you for the mutton liver recipe---its a favorite of mine. My father is the one who is the expert at this--he insists that this dish is really beneficial to new mothers..something he heard about from his mother and grandmother.....and he even made it for my sister and me when we had our babies!

  8. I feel like taking that bowl right from the screen!! :-D

    I have tried beef liver..but this should be tasting far better..would be an excellent combo with beer too...!!

    talking of such happened once i was send to a poultry shop to buy chicken..

    So i told the butcher..

    "One kilo chicken chetta"



    "Halal aano ennu?"

    "alla chetta..chicken Kozhi ille?..."

    And the sight of his sharp vettukathi didnot elicit further answers from me....

  9. Shn, not everyone is as frank as you! I too hv been through similar phase-'adding more basic ingr wd bring more taste' :D
    Was reading through ur beautifully essayed post! I hv had this curry only after delivery- medicinal values! :D Looking at your posts now, surely you have good culinary skills, it was inside you, waiting to be tapped! I too have made many a dishes, like the sadya, ur bowl, next is the orange cup wt come up this week! Too long a comment! Your write up surely refreshes the mind! Tks a lot for sharing!

  10. Hi Mish ...
    As usual the dish looks wonderful ..My in laws favourite Dish ...So going to surprise them by making this ...Wish me good luck !! :)

  11. Oh Shn..ONE shameless situation..??I've been in many!!Have made tea for 3 people using up a full packet of milk..have served uncooked puttu(puttu podi rather)to friends..have made paste textured biryani..oops I think I've quoted one too many here..;-)

  12. You at least had some basic recipes in a small notebook!! I didn't even have that when I started my culinary journey. All I had was some memories of seeing rice boiling on the stove, mom mixing masala for meat and fish curries, mom frying papadams etc...and I assumed I would be able to do that all in a breeze. I didn't even bother about any measurements. Thankfully I was alone at my husband's work place so mother-in-law didn't have to witness any of my blunders! Don't ask me the details!! I could write a book in an anonymous name. Want to co-author me? :D

  13. LOL that is a funny story. I stuck to tea for the first few days :) the lover dish looks fabulous!

  14. Shn, your posts are always so refreshing. Go on write that book soon.

    The mutton liver fry looks out of this world. Tried the Mutton fry this weekend and that was delicious as well. I made it slightly damp to mix it with rice.

  15. Anon, Thank you :) why dont you give it a try ?

    Ann, we had a good laugh reading ur story...:)) i like such long comments especially when it has such ROFL elements :)) If we start writing puttu puraanam , i guess we can write an epic....i need one full chapter :D and yes we were also Food World products.....but that day this temporary farmer's stall was set up and we thought we can get some farm fresh stuff.....angane aanu ee kathakal okke undayathu ...pinne athu vazhi poyilla:)) But guess what I really havent met anyone who is so bad in cooking....even those who lack that kaipunyam has one signature dish to their credit.....and thats amazing, isn't it?

    Sig, i need details ...then only i can trust u :P

    Tina, ayyoo....pls dont embarrass me like have n beautiful collection of recipes and many of which i havent even heard of...and some are with ingrdients that i have begun to be proud :) Nice to know that this lil page has a space in ur heart :) Thank you and thanks for that chicken recipe :)

    SNS, Thank you very much for linking my blog :) And really appreciate the feedback......say my hi to your friends too :)

    Sra, pls go ahead and write a post on this have got one reader for sure :))

    Chitra, i have company!! :) atleast you can be relieved that only your family got to see all those my case, it was right from the stranger to the in-laws !!!! Your father is is very good for anyone recouping from illness or getting back to the normal physical strength.....mutton soup (with bones) is another one to that list....tasty and strong .

    Mathew, njan chirichu-chirchu chathu!!! I was only half awake when I started reading ur comment but by the time I finished reading, I was fully charged up and laughing out loud:))) Seriously, you should sent this to Reader's Digest...:))I keep giggling whenever i imagine u in that scenario! :D

    Purnima, keep them coming....I really love reading long comments I wrote earlier, yeah this liver fry and soup is really good for those who are recouping....Thank you very much for this appreciation :)

    Sia, thank you :)))

    Veena, I usually wish me luck when someone tells me that they re going to try one of my recipes.....:P let me know if you liked the prep!

    divya, be glad that you could make tea for 3 my case, i could manage to make two glasses of tea but if there is one more person, then I have to repeat the tea making process again!!! pathetic , right? :)

    RP, you re brave!!!! Seriously, I cant imagine going to a new kitchen and place with so much confidence....i awlays wondered how come chicken curry got that texture and colour when you throw in some onions and spice was quite fascinating to me!!! Moreover, I was scared at the thought of not being able to feed CJJ....njaanin-mel kali ennokke kettittille, athu pole aayirunnu ente sthithi :) Yeah , let's co-author a masterpiece ;))

    Mandira, I had no other go , we were on our own from the 6th day of marriage!! but now it is fun to wind back to those days:))

    Indo, oh yes, I am co-authoring one with RP....wait for the book launch should come :)) Thank you for trying out mutton fry, Indo....if you wanted some gravy, you could try that mutton curry I published 2-3 weeks backs. Thanks a lot, again :)


  16. Hai Shn,that liver fry looks great;tho' I'm not into it. it's one of Nish's favourites,but even after many trials,I havent prepared one upto his marks...(((
    Seeing Nish coming home for lunch everyday after marriage,his manager thought I was a good cook....(how can he know we were surviving mainly on Maggi noodles at that time....)))A week after,he dropped in one evening demanding a homely dinner....After 2-3 adventerous hours in kitchen,we finally had homely dinner in a hotel...:P
    That was my first blunder in a series of still continuing disasters....))))

  17. Shn,
    I have my share of kitchen blunders too.
    i always stick to chicken curry and boiled rice and vegetable and the traditional cooking was taken care By My MIL.Once we were on our own ,I also remember calling up Mom and MIL at wee hours for tips and recipes.
    It was fun to read it ..
    Mutton Liver Fry looks so yum, I have tried making couple of times for my little one but with little spice and masala.
    Hugs and smiles

  18. Hi da ..
    i am having a bad throat pain ,so yesterday couldn`t read ur writeup ..the first thing i did in the morning is (after dropping my son in the school bus) to read this ..i couldn`t control my laugh ..Very interesting ..Like u me also had gone through such many blunders....!!:)

    Keep on writing such wonderful experiences mish ..:) :)

    Being a new comer to this blog world i expect ur support and suggestions kettoo mish


  19. LOL, i cant seem to blive tht 'Mishmash' asked for 1 kilo chilies, actly tht mustve been 'shn' not 'mishmash! nah nah, mishmash would do no such thing. :d
    this liver looks awesome, my dad totally loves it, but we dont let him buy and it pacify him by giving the liver from the mutton fry. thanks for the recipie, actly i can imagine myself at 60 coming to ur blog for liver recipies. :D

  20. That was hilarious reading the blunders :) but you have come a long way dear.
    Love mutton liver.. my fav. I prepare it almost similarly.

  21. As usual the picture looks Beautiful. Never tried mutton liver though I loved beef liver fry that my Mom made.It looks tempting to give it a try.

  22. thnx so much fr dat post..smhow it makes me feel infinitely better..:)

  23. Mishmash ,you are not the only one....once i made so much of rice that we had to feed on it for almost for 4 to 5 days....lot and lot ..sometimes had to throw the whole dish out....and still i do make blunders but somehow i manage to fix it.....personaally i donnt like liver fry dad love it ....


  24. Hey Mishmash...
    Nice post as always..When I read Matthew's comment I remembered an incident when a cousin of mine travelled to Delhi for the first time..Like many Mallus I know, he was familiar with very few Hindi words.One evening he thought of buying some chicken and went to the butcher's shop -there he couldnt remember the hindi word for "chicken" -so he told the butcher "anda ka mummy chahiye" (lol)...


  25. Oh, my, gosh, I've totally mixed up spices before. Now I have little name tags on the bottle covers. Cumin and coriander are tough! :)

  26. HEy Shn...njaanum koottinu undu ee blundersinu.....pinnae liver fry kandittu ivide irikaan vayya..

  27. Yummy post! liver fry are cooked almost once in 2 weeks at my place cos my grandmom says that it immediately increases ur haemoglobin level! its really a healthy dish & yours look absolutely fantastic.

  28. My kitchen capers will make a good comic! :)

  29. I remember my mom making this every weekend..Nice recipe..

  30. I still make some follies when it
    comes to cooking(basically coz of my carelessness)..
    a recent one was when i was making sambhar one fine morning hurriedly!! Instead of sambhar masala i put garam masala powder. Actually got confused with the containers.. and u should have smelt the sambhar.. it was yuck and i still cudnt figure out the problem!! it was my husband who figured it out..

  31. I loved your post.. All of us have gone through such times and things keep going wrong till date ..We are learning still...!! ha ha !!

    Happy Diwali wishes Shn..

  32. my my..why in this holy world, do i feel we both have got every single incident similar 2 each other.!
    cooking on one mentioned in my blog, about me..i was an exclusive copper n dish washer ..that was just my role in kitchen!..but getting married from ekm, a working class family..with a home on 10 cents of land, and "sample-krishi" of most veggies that we manage, the estate kinda home in acres of land, goats, cows n rubber..everysingle world from my mouth was an "eye-popping folowed by shocked luk followed by haaa haaa hooo hooo haaa! for my inlaws..esp cousins n bro-in-lws..and only when i see my husband.hittin his wrist on his chest...saying.."ennae kollu!!...thaan ennae naattikkum"..that i realise..something has gone seriuosly wrong.
    All our "virunnu" was a treat to my eyes, who was workin as an interior-designer, on one of my projects, had to do the traditional kerala style with wood panels, charupadie the doors... n all..had not seen one except in photographs n all, but ther i was, after quitting my job...visiting only "thadi-pera" old wooden worked homes n all..and i was just wishing, my! if only i ws still working, i cud do all these designs with ease.
    on one such visit, Santho's grandmother too accopmonied us, n she was looking aroung the cowshed..and commenting something abt this cow has got gud milk or somehting like that..and me, just without thought..blabed out.."pakshae ethu aan-pashu allae..ethinu kombundalloo!..

  33. my so far so gud GK had the knowledge that male elephants have kombu..females, was under the impression that its applicable to all!..and that was one expression that i saw on her face...Santho was soo consious of every word that comes of my mouth, esp with older people around..

    1 kilo green chille, kinda luk was delivered to me by this old man in a petrol pump...when we both decided to go on a ride on my FIL's old Scooter, the LML Vespa was my first ride on such a one..stopped by to fill the tank, and Santho said.."50 rupayku adikku chetta"..(not sure if it was even less or so..) and i ws like.."50 rupayoo..athukondu enthaakanaa?..chetta, 500 rupeesinu venam!tht was another , heart attacckkk moment for my husb n that old guy.
    "500 !! for a scooter??? u know the mileage of a scooter?? around 17 km /liter..ethu endae ammayie appendae Santro onnum allae..500-1000 rupayku petrol adikkan!..
    silence was all that i cud give.
    my only explanation for weeks to this incident was that...Santho, atleast now, u are sure no, that i have not travelled in any bikes or scooter with any other guy, expect in my fathers' Santro, and the only phrase that i had in my mind to say in a pump was what he says.."500-supreme"

  34. @zoya
    "anda ka mummy chahiye" ROTFL!! too good..!!;-D

  35. Liz, that was funnnyy...i can imagine your should have ordered take-out and then served everything on your dining know, thats also homestyle :))) try this recipe and see if Nish like it......i liked the masala taste a lot....the only challenge is to get the liver cooked to perfection...

    Jaya, it is much better when you have some expert in the kitchen and you work as a souf chef.....can hide the ignorance to a great extent...:)) hmm..this is a spicy one....will have to reduce pepper if you re serving for ur kid...

    Veena,hmm...sick season it is ...take good rest.....warm soup and chukku kaapi is the best .....hope u re doing well by now! you have blogged so many recipes,so deft'ly not a rookie :))

    Vidya, you really thought I am quite spontaneous in kitchen??? heights of misunderstanding.....i guess you should read this. and if you talk to CJJ, you will have more of such enlightening moments :))))

    Pravs, probably have a clear pic of me...laziness combined with blunders....:D yeah...i agree...from my two cups of tea and omelet phase, i have come a long wayyyy :)))

    Geena, try mutton liver next family believes that mutton liver is the could be a personal choice...but give it a try....:)

    Ursjina, helloo...who's this new bride?? :)) How re sure u re enjoyin the best days of life....and go ahead and make all those blunders....when we get old, we can look back and laugh..:))

    Anon, yeah you re the years pass, we get to master the art of fixing the happenes to me all the time :))

    Zo-ya, ROFL doesnt do full justice to such a funny one :D y'day the whole evening I saw myself chuckling every now and then thinking of your friend :))) I am so glad that I added the last two lines to this post, else I would have missed the funniest anecdote ever!!! Thank you :))

    Susan,you agree right....they re so too got name tages :P

    Zareen, go shopping and make it for dinner :)

    Vij, yeah it is really healthy but i guess having it so frequently is not that good as it is quite a fatty one...storehouse of cholesterol,unless you work out regularly ....

    Jyothsna, bring it on!

    Divya, thanks :)

    Divz, hehehhe...that was a cool one....:)) label it , girl....i still label all my containers....i just dont trust myself!!:D

    Swati, yeah....u re right :) Thank you :)

    Sona, we were laughing like anything by the time we read your first dose......and after two minutes , I started getting some doubts and I asked CJJ and he was also beginng to wonder the same thing and then the first thing I asked my father this morning, when I called up, was ," achaa...pasuu-nu kombundo?" My father just burst into laughter listening to dont feel have company :) Btw, I admire all those people who are into your profession....creative my home when we built one :D thanks a lot for making us all laugh like this :)))


  36. haa haa..appo nammal ellam orae vallumel kettavunna enam aanello...gud gud...
    some more new snaps in here...

    in return to sharing this with u...i now ask.."may i know ur name please!"


  37. shn,
    i tried it.. we loved it..i even fed my 1year old..
    i tried ur many items.. plum cake etc.

  38. can use same recipe for chicken liver?does ittake lesser time to cook?help pls,thnks :)

  39. Shn, I tried your goat liver fry came out good..i've put a picture in my blog

  40. Hey,i love your your recipes...i always go through your recipes when i am wondering what to cook,the liver fry looks yummy,i have never had lamb liver before but definitely gonna try it out. Keep going,good job.

    Lots of love



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