The Gowdas are traditionally a farming community, and our food primarily consists of ingredients that were grown in our farms. That includes livestock. So, when it comes to meat, we love mutton the most, followed by chicken. Growing up, a family meal at my grandmother’s home always featured mutton as the main dish, unless it was a religious festival, when only vegetarian food was served. My most vivid memory of those family lunches is of mutton chops with ragi mudde.
Sunday meals were a big affair. My father would go to buy the meat (Bannur Kuri was the preferred breed) and the menfolk were particular about the cuts. My grandmom and the next generation of women were in charge of the mis en place and we kids would shell nati batani (peas) for the mutton chops. The aromas that wafted out of that kitchen still linger in my memory.
All the recipes were handed down orally and measurements were not recorded, as everyone was taught kai yelle – to measure by hand. So, when we started Bengaluru Oota Company, this was one of the first dishes we documented and calculated measurements for. It is a big hit at the restaurant. And every single time it is made, I think of my Ajji.
- ½ kg mutton chops
- 125 gm green peas
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- ½ tbsp coriander powder
- 4 cloves
- 4 green chillies
- 2 medium-sized onions, sliced
- 1 small ripe tomato
- ½ inch cinnamon
- ¼ dry coconut, grated
- Fistful of loose fresh methi
- Fistful of loose fresh coriander
- Salt to taste
- Grind coconut, fresh coriander, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, black pepper, coriander powder, cinnamon and cloves into a fine paste.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions. Fry until translucent.
- Add the chopped fresh methi and continue frying until onions become golden brown.
- Stir in the ground masala and fry until the masala is cooked through.
- Place in the mutton chops, tomatoes (cut in cubes), salt and water.
- Cook over medium flame until the meat is done.
- Serve it with Ragi Mudde, Ghee Rice or Akki Rotis.