I have lived away from home for more than 12 years and every time I go back, the first thing I ask for is my mother’s mutton curry. The recipe has been in the family for the longest time. It is basic, but for me, it is steeped in nostalgia.
- 500 gm bone-in lamb chops, single
- 4 tbsp ghee
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 3 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1½ tsp ginger paste
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 3 cups chopped red onion
- 2 cups chopped tomato
- 1 cup peeled and diced potato
- 5-6 whole black peppercorns
- 3 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 black cardamom
- Salt to taste
- Wash the lamb chops under running water and pat dry.
- Season lamb with salt and keep covered in a bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- In a medium saucepan, heat ghee on low flame. Add all the whole spices and let them bloom until you can smell the aroma.
- Toss in chopped onions and keep cooking, stirring continuously, until golden brown.
- As onions change colour, season with a pinch of salt.
- Now add in ginger and garlic paste and cook until the raw flavour disappears.
- If the ginger or garlic begins sticking to the bottom of the saucepan, sprinkle in another pinch of salt and keep stirring. The salt will act as an abrasive and help scrape all the caramelised bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Drop chopped tomato into the pan and turn the heat to medium flame.
- Cook the tomato until you see ghee separate onto the sides of your pan. When this happens, it's time to stir in all the powdered spices.
- Turn the heat on low and continuously stir for 3-4 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the lamb chops that were marinated in salt and cover with 1-1½ litre water or till they are just covered. Once the curry begins to simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes.
- At the 20-minute mark, toss in diced potatoes and check the meat for doneness. Take the lid off and continue to simmer until the potato and meat are tender.
- Season with salt after tasting and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- You can replace potatoes with any seasonal vegetable like turnips in winter or flat beans in summer.