Made for the March Northern Curry Recipe Challenge, over at Lina’s. I do love these challenges, for the new tastes I get to try. The non-veggie arm of the judging is being performed by Sandhya, of Indfused. The veggie dishes are being judged by Parul of Gharkepakwan. Work has been incredibly hectic, and I spent much of my Sunday off-time this past weekend – well, sleeping. I had finally gotten the rest of the ingredients, so I seriously wanted to make this dish. (The kashmiri masala,which I will post tomorrow night, I made last night. I made this dish before work this morning, and it will see me for a couple more meals.) I know I’m late, so I know this likely won’t be in the challenge proper, but that’s besides the point!
But — I learned a lot while pursuing the ingredients for this dish.
Mutton and Goat in India?
Traditionally, the meat used is mutton, which I believe (in Western cultures) means meat from sheep that are no longer yearling lambs. I know goat and mutton are pretty interchangeable in those regions of India that eat meat — and goat is pretty much more common than meat from sheep. But it turns out that in Northern India, the words for mutton and goat are pretty much interchangeable, too….
I stopped on a lark (for the sake of this recipe) at a place advertising “Halal Meats” this past Friday after work. Might have a really good chance at getting (sheep) mutton, I thought.
No, for this establishment, mutton meant coarsely chopped up goat meat, bones included. It was apparent that the ownership hailed either from Pakistan or northern India, so I nodded and bought the “mutton”/goat meat for this recipe. (And as this blog is named “Of Goats and Greens”, and I love goat meat… hey!!! I’m going forward!!!)
The clerk, who I suspect is also the owner, or related to the owner, tried to sell me a whole goat — and yes, I’m interested, but right now I NEED to eat down my stand alone freezer so I can defrost it, so I declined, but told him I’d love one, organ meats and all. In the future. Hopefully a near-to-come future.
I know of Garam Masala, which is a specific mixture of Indian spices. Until I got to my regular Indian market, I didn’t know of the full extent of Indian spice mixtures that become labeled masalas. They had at least 12 different masala mixtures ready to buy. BUT… Kashmiri Masala was out of stock. Bleah. So I asked. Kashmiri masala was an ingredient needed for this dish.
I was presented with a bag of dried Kashmiri chillies, and told to grind them, as much as I needed, and THIS would be all I needed for Kashmiri masala. No other ingredients. And yes, I specified I needed MASALA.
I’d been under the impression that the word “masala” meant you’d have a mix of ingredients, but, hey, she’s the expert, right? I bought them.
Rather dubious, I did some surfing after getting home. Nope, kashmiri masala is rather more complicated than I’d thought, although buying the chillies was not a detriment. And masala does mean “mixture”. I now do have a recipe for the masala/curry paste if you can’t find it on your own, but it will appear later this week (tomorrow night, actually).
Anyhow.. Khatta Meat!!!
I basically followed this recipe, but looked around at others, too: Khatta Meat
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 and a quarter hours
Rest: Cool enough to eat
Serves: 3 people, with a veggie side and a starch
- 2 Tablespoons mustard oil
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 teaspoons zeera/jeera – cumin seed
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 black cardamom seeds (I went for about ten white ones. I’m wondering if my source meant teaspoons…)
- 3-4 onions, chopped.
- 3 teaspoons garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons ginger, minced – I used ginger paste.
- 2 teaspoons kasoori methi — these are dried fenugreek leaves.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- Salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon kashmiri masala — Just ONE teaspoon? I just went through major cookery events to make this myself from scratch, and I’m dang well using 2 or 3 teaspoons for this dish!!! (The recipe for kashmiri masala will follow later this week!)
- 1 dried red chilli – I used a dried kashmiri chili.
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 pound mutton, more or less, chopped into medium sized pieces
- 2 1/2 heaping teaspoons dry mango powder (Amchoor)
- Add up to 3 green chillies de-seeded. Serrano, I think. (I stayed with one)
- Cilantro, as a garnish
In a deep pan add mustard oil. Let it heat.
Add cinnamon, cumin, cloves, black cardamom and onions. Saute until translucent.
Add garlic and ginger paste. Saute till brown.
Add kasoori methi, turmeric, salt, kashmiri masala, dried red chilli and 1 cup of the water. Cook until things meld together.
Add the mutton and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring to coat with the seasonings.
Now add 2 cups water. Let it come to a boil. Cover the pan and cook on medium flame till the meat is tender. (Takes about an hour.)
Once the meat is cooked, mix in dry mango powder, and any green chillies. Add more salt if desired.
Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Verdict: Very tasty, and just the right amount of heat (for me)! I’m glad to have tried this, and will make it again!