Mutton Chops – Kerala Style
By : Satheesh Thomas

Ingredients :

1. Goat /Mutton (with bones) : 1.5 lb /3/4 kg (cut into large cubes)
2. Red Small Onion /Shallots : 25-30 nos /1 cup or Onion : 2 (medium) / 1 cup (thinly sliced)
3. Garlic : 4-5 cloves /1 tbsp (crushed)
4. Ginger : 1" piece /1 tbsp (crushed)
5. Red Chili Powder : 1 tbsp or to your spice level
6. Whole Pepper Powder : 1 1/2 tbsp or to your spice level
7. Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
8. Lemon juice : 1 tbsp
9. Curry Leaves : 1 sprig
10. Coconut oil or Cooking oil : 1 1/2 tbsp
11. Hot Water : 1/2 - 1 cup (as needed)
12. Salt to taste

To roast and grind the Spice Powder:

1. Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
2. Cumin seeds : ½
3. Star anise: 1
4. Cardamom Pods : 4
5. Cinnamon : 1/2" stick
6. Bay Leaves : 1

Method of Preparation :

1. Wash and cut mutton in to large cubes, and place in a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and salt to taste; cook for about 8 minutes after the first whistle (after it comes to full pressure) reduce the fire to medium and then switch of the flame and let it cool naturally. Alternatively, mutton can be cooked in a regular pan; In a pan; cover and cook the meat with 1 cup of hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes or till the mutton is soft.. This water will help cook the meat as well as ensure that it does not get charred. At the end of the cooking, there should be at least 1/2 cup of liquid remaining in the mutton.
2. Meantime in a small frying pan; lightly roast all the ingredients listed " To roast and grind the spice powder" and powder it using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder till smooth.
3. While the mutton is getting cooked; heat 2 tbsp of oil in a kadai, add 1/2 of the grounded spice powder (leaving ½ behind for final sprinkling) and sauté for a minute. (Note : Make sure not to burn the spice, stir continously to avoid burning.) now add few curry leaves and the small red onions or onions till it turns to translucent and brown in color.
4. Add the crushed ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté for a few minutes.
5. Mix the chili powder, pepper powder and turmeric powder with a tbsp of water to make a paste. Add this paste to the pan and sauté for a few minutes till the whole mixture turns to dark brown colour.
6. At this stage, remove the cooked mutton pieces with a slotted spoon and add to the pan. Reserve the stock.
7. Mix well and keep sauteing till the mutton pieces are well coated with masala and becomes dry and starts taking a light blackish/dark brown colour.
8. Now pour the reserved stock (or add water if not enough stock) into the pan and mix well. When the gravy starts to thicken, add the remaning curry leaves, the rest of grounded spice powder and stir well . Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or till almost all the liquid is gone from the pan and the mutton pieces are well coated with the remaining gravy.
9. Add the lemon juice and mix well and immediately remove from the stove.The dish will get a darker shade once it rests.
10. Serve hot with chapati or with curd rice, paratta or any roti varities, etc...

Note: Njangal undakiyathu atra erivu illayirunnu. Athu kondu 3-4 gree chilli koode cherthaal kurachu koode nannaakum..

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