Mutton Stew ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style Coconut Milk Based Curry

Today started on a really good note. I was woken up by my little son who had his arms around me. He had sneaked up into my bed. My little daughter was still fast asleep when I woke up. The benefit of waking up early on a Friday morning is that you have the luxury of that extra time to make an elaborate breakfast and that's exactly what I did - prepared poori baji for brekky which everyone relished. Some indulgences are a must occasionally, isn't it? The rest of the day rolled by getting a lot of chores done - cleaning up basically, with some spiritual music playing in the background. On days like these when I am able to accomplish so much in a span of 2-3 hours I consider myself blessed. Life is good.

I had promised my readers that I would post this recipe yesterday but I got busy during the time slot I had scheduled to write this post. Chatting up with a friend on skype after a very long time gave me such a nice feeling. The post could wait I thought and so here I am posting on a Friday, something I usually avoid as I like to take a break from blogging during the weekend. 

I had tried this recipe from the Mangalore Ladies Club Book last week and it turned out amazing. It's not everyday that I make curries that call for coconut milk as the hubby and son don't prefer it much but since I've grown up eating coconut milk based curries I love making it once in a while and enjoy it to the hit. The only mistake I made was to add extra turmeric so it looks a bit too yellow. My mother made it pretty pale, almost whiteish which is the way I prefer it too. This is a lesson for me not to open the bottle of turmeric powder right above the pan of simmering curry - an oopsie! moment is the last thing you need! I could have tried this another time and then posted the recipe but sometimes I believe that when it comes out perfect to the tee is when you should share the recipe. 

So while I go back to my weekend chores here's one of the traditional Mangalorean Catholic way of making mutton stew - with coconut milk as its base. If you like non vegetarian stews then do check out the Simple Chicken Stew and Mutton Brown Stew recipes.

Mutton Stew ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style

To pre cook the meat:
  • 750-800 grams mutton (goat meat or lamb) on the bone
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder * see notes
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
Other ingredients:
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 big onions thinly sliced
  • 3-6 small green chillies, slit (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 7-8 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pods of cardamom
  • 2 " sticks of cassia bark or cinnamon
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 level teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper powder (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cups thin coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • Chopped coriander to garnish
  • Ghee or oil for frying
  • Salt to taste
1. Wash the mutton and drain excess water. Transfer it into a pressure cooker, add lime juice, turmeric powder, salt to taste and sprinkle approx 1/4 cup water. Fix the lid, place the weight (whistle) and cook on a full heat till 1 whistle goes off. Reduce the heat completely to a sim and continue to cook for another 10 mins - we need the mutton to be almost done and not fully cooked. Remove from heat and let the cooker cool down till the weight loosens up on its own. Open, stir contents and keep aside
2. In a heavy based pan heat the ghee and toss in the slit green chillies and fry them on a medium heat till they turn translucent. Add the chopped ginger, garlic and sliced onions and fry till the onions turn pink and limp - don't brown them so fry on a medium heat.
3. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods and curry leaves and stir for half a minute. 
4. Reduce the heat, toss in the powders and fry for a few seconds taking care to see that they don't burn. 
5. Add the cooked mutton and potatoes and the thin coconut milk. Adjust salt to taste, cover the pan and simmer until the potatoes are cooked - to check, poke one piece of potato with a fork and if it goes easily midway it is done.
6. Reduce the heat, add the thick coconut milk and give it one boil. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander.
7. Serve hot with rice, appams, neer dosa or chapathis

1. The colour of this dish looks slightly more yellow than it should be. I added a bit too much by mistake when I was making it. 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon is good to go. It should be a very pale yellow and not so bright

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