Spicy mutton with coconut

A favourite dish with many a Keralite, this dish makes a great starter for dinner parties.   The dish is simple to make with many variations but the recipe below is one handed down to us from Anna’s mum and it hasn’t failed us so far.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gms mutton cubed (can substitute with lamb/beef )
  • 1 large red onion sliced
  • 4-6 green chillies
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of fresh coconut cut into slivers
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

For the paste

  • 1 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 6-8 cloves of  garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger skinned
  • Handful fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp dhania (ground coriander) powder
  • Salt to taste

 

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Grind all the paste ingredients in a blender till you get a coarse paste (add a bit of water if needed).   Wash the mutton and pat dry before mixing in the paste ingredients.   Add salt to taste and allow the meat to marinade for a couple of hours (the longer the better).   Place the marinated meat in a pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes or till the meat is cooked.   Once the pressure cooker is switched off and if you notice liquid build up then place the meat on the stove till all the liquid has evaporated.   Heat a large pan and add the coconut oil, then add the curry leaves and green chillies  and stir for a minute before adding the sliced onions.   Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the cooked mutton and coconut.   Keep tossing over medium heat till the meat begins to brown a bit.   Take off the heat and serve with a nice ice cold pint of lager or beverage of choice.

 

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Vietnamese summer roll – roast chicken and herbs

A couple of days back I cooked a roast chicken for lunch and had some left over in the fridge.   I am hooked on cooking a whole chicken having successfully done so the last couple of times.   The addition of fresh rosemary from the garden in both the chicken and vegetables makes it all the more tasty.   Today’s lunch was fairly quick to prepare but it packed some flavour (fresh basil and mint from the garden).  If you haven’t eaten a Vietnamese summer roll try it and you will give up the fried spring rolls.

The summer roll started with the soaked rice paper layered with an iceberg lettuce leaf and filled with whole basil, mint and coriander leaves and a few chopped pieces of spring onion.   I heated up the left over roast chicken for a couple of minutes with some Chinese crushed red chilli sauce.   I added a good handful of the chicken on top of the herbs and wrapped the rice paper to form a roll.  I can’t wait to get Anna to try this when she gets back next week as I am sure she will love the freshness of the dish.

The roast chicken is simple to make.   I used a small bird, cleaned it up, placed in a roasting pan and then seasoned with salt and pepper.  I then rubbed the chicken with a generous knob of butter and placed a couple of knobs under the skin on either side above the breast.  I placed a lemon cut in half and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity and cooked in a pre heated 210 degree oven for an hour till chicken was cooked through.   During the cooking process I take the pan out and baste the chicken with the melted butter to keep it moist.  For the vegetable barring the potato (boiled and peeled it and added it to the roasting pan 15 minutes before chicken was done) I roughly chopped up some carrot, parsnip, celery and added some whole shallots, garlic cloves and button mushrooms – drizzled a little olive oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden.   I added the vegetables to the roasting pan half way through the cooking process.   The end results was a nice golden bird with roasted vegetables.

 

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