We routinely battle over the remote at home. Very rarely do we both agree to watch the same thing on television. This weekend was no different. While Mahesh insisted on watching some Tamil comedy scenes for the nth time, I wanted TLC. He obliged and for a minute or so we saw Donna Hay putting together a rustic pie. Intrigued by what she was doing, Mahesh asked, “What is she making?” I promptly quipped, “a rustic pie”. After a good 30 seconds, he turned towards me and asked, “Have you seen this before”. I told him quite innocently and in what I thought a convincing tone, “Nope. I simply guessed” and then burst into a fit of laughter. Both of us laughed for a good five minutes and then agreed to watch something else.
Anyway, the recipe I am sharing today is a very simple Chettinad curry that Amma makes. What I really like about is that it does not require you to fry the masalas and stand over the stove for long. Most mutton and chicken curry recipes require you to brown the base and then bhuna the meat along with the masalas. None of it is called for in the preparation of this dish and the result is a curry that is effortless and yummy. Here is the recipe:
1 kg mutton
25-30 sambhar onions, chopped into bits. You can use 2 regular onions in place of sambhar onions. It tastes better with sambhar onions though. You can find them at Rama Stores, Munirka in Delhi.
2 heaped tbsps of coriander powder
2 tbsps of chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsps ginger-paste
4 tsps grated coconut
1 cup tamarind water
2 tsp fennel Seeds
1. Put the mutton or chicken pieces in a pressure cooker and add most of the sambhar onions to it. Also add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric, and salt to it. Add enough water so that the meat is submerged. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles in case of mutton and for 2-3 in case of chicken.
2. Make a fine paste of coconut, 1 tsp fennel seeds, and 6-7 sambhar onions.
3. After the mutton is cooked, add the coconut paste and chopped tomatoes and let it come to a boil.
4. Once the tomatoes soften, add the tamarind water and cook for 10-12 minutes on medium flame.
5. Heat a tsp of oil in a separate pan and add curry leaves, fennel seeds, and 5-6 chopped sambhar onions to it. You could also add a few cloves, cardamoms, and cinnamon. Fry this for 2 minutes and then add it to the curry. Garnish the curry with chopped coriander.
You can serve the kozhambu with piping hot rice. It also goes well with Dosas. It tastes better the next day so make sure you reserve some.