Mutton Curry has been a favorite dish of Indian Cuisine since ancient times and is unquestionably one of the most delicious mutton dishes. This is the simplest, flavour some, sensational & succulent mutton curry, prepared at homes in Punjab region. Although there’s no special occasion required to relish and dig into the flavours of this amazing dish. This curry is always made in desi ghee as it retains the taste of meat and saturated fats enhance the taste, with an amazing kick that the spices offer. A good quantity of ghee is used, which helps in roasting well the mutton pieces and onions. After final cooking, ghee will float on top which can be easily taken out with a ladle and further can be used in any non-veg dish. You’ll get a semi thick curry due to the addition of onions and coriander powder in good quantity.
THIS RECIPE SERVES 5-6 PERSONS
Mutton Leg Pieces : 1 kg (a mix of leg thigh & shoulder can also be taken)
Ghee : 150 gms / 1 cup
Cumin Seeds : 5 gms / 1 tea-spoon
Cinnamon Stick : 2 inches long
Small Cardamom: 8 pcs
Black Cardamom: 2 pcs
Cloves: 8 pcs
Black Peppercorns: 8-10 peppercorns
Onions: 400 gms / 7-8 medium sized onions
Ginger Garlic Paste: 100 gms / half cup
Coriander Powder: 40-45 gms / 3 table-spoons
Turmeric Powder: 1 tea-spoon
Degi Chilly Powder: 2 tea-spoons
Cumin Powder: 1 ½ tea-spoon
Dry Ginger Powder: 1 ½ tea-spoon
Garam Masala: 1 tea-spoon
Fresh Coriander (Optional) a handful
Boiling Hot Water: 1.25 ltrs / 5 glasses
Wash the mutton pieces thrice and clean with kitchen cloth, to get rid of excess water on pieces. Peel, wash & finely slice onions. Wash & chop fresh coriander leaves.
Instead of adding packed garam masala, you may grind fresh masala with whole spices to intensify more flavours in curry.
Take water in another pan and let it boil because we’ll add hot water after roasting meat (Adding cold water in between cooking results in shrinkage and dryness of meat).
Place the Handi on large burner of your cooking range and heat ghee on medium high heat (Always prefer Handi for cooking meat or chicken. A Handi is deep and wide- mouthed cooking vessel and at the same time, the base of the vessel is wider than the mouth).
When oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Immediately add whole spices like cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves & peppercorns. Stir for 1-2 minutes & add sliced onions. Cook the onions on same medium high heat and keep stirring with spatula (a broad flat blade with a long handle – available in both wooden & steel material).
After 15 minutes, when onions will get a light brown colour then increase the flame to high.
Now divide the mutton pieces into three equal parts and add one part into the Handi. Keep stirring constantly to sear it (Searing is the technique used in roasting and grilling, in which meat is cooked at high temperature until colour changes and lock in the juices of meat. If you add all the pieces in one time, this lowers the temperature inside the Handi. Mutton will not get seared and release its moisture. As result, the meat turns out “dry” rather than moist & juicy). After 5 minutes when you notice the meat is properly seared, add the second batch of mutton pieces and cook again on high heat for another 5 minutes to sear them too.
When the second batch of the meat is also seared, add third and final batch of mutton pieces and stir again on same heat for 5-10 minutes. Now reduce the high flame to medium and keep on stirring meat & onions for at least 20 minutes. After the cooking and roasting, you’ll notice a good golden colour on meat and onions will become mushy. At this stage, add ginger garlic paste and need to cook till it is well done or the raw flavour of garlic goes away.
After it is done, add coriander powder, turmeric, degi chilly and cumin powder, keep stirring meet along with spices constantly for 2 minutes. Now pour over hot water, reduce the flame to low and cover the Handi.
Simmer the mutton curry on low heat for 20 minutes and then add salt and dry ginger powder, stir well (Never add salt in the beginning as it can bring out moisture from the meat and results in dry meat dish)
Let the mutton curry simmer again for 20-30 minutes and check mutton pieces randomly whether it is tender or not. Finish the mutton curry with garam masala & fresh coriander leaves (optional), stir well, left it for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with chapattis or steamed rice.
How to buy good quality meat ?
The natural colour of the meat should be bright & pinkish red. The fresh meat should not have bad or foul smell. Fresh meat will neither be too soft nor too tough. You can test just by poking it. It should come back to its original shape after pressing with finger.