Hope your Deepavali started with a nice oil bath followed by a long leisurely breakfast of several soft dosais alongside a rich, lip-smacking Deepavali special mutton kurma. Hope you planted your butt on the couch and remained there the rest of the day and watched all the programs on all the channels. Hope you stole some time in between to go burst 100 walas and 1000 walas, pisssed off your neighbours and filled the entrance to your house with a respectable amount of paper kuppai (trash).
That was my Deepavali.
A mutton kurma for Deepavali cannot be any ordinary kurma. It needs to be extra special and extra decadent. And so you marinate the mutton in yogurt, fry the spices in ghee, cook the mutton in milk and finish off with coconut milk. This is the kind of breakfast that fills you up till dinner time. That is essential when you have a day full of TV programs you want to catch up with. You don’t want to get off the couch to prep lunch.
I know this post should have come before Deepavali along with the Diwali promotions, Diwali Sale, the great Indian shopping festival in time for you to try this recipe for Deepavali. I know I am a bad blogger. Often, it’s the build-up to Deepavali that I enjoy even more than the day itself. I loved the deluge of Deepavali sweets and murukku on my facebook and instagram feeds. I love the food blogger spirit (not me), simple, cheery and optimistic. I was surprised though that nobody seemed to be posting the most important Deepavali mutton kurma.
I wondered if it wasn’t as popular a tradition as I thought it was.
If mutton kurma eating south Indian bloggers are under represented in the blogging community.
If it is an outcome of censorship. I’ve talked to a couple of people who said something like this “I’ve read some of your posts. Your writing is really good. Hmm.. yours is a non-vegetarian blog right? But, I am a vegetarian.” to which I’ve very naively replied “But I post a lot of vegetarian recipes too.. (In my mind thinking “Oh, don’t stop reading because of that, Maybe I should post more vegetarian recipes.. “).
However I don’t think I should try to change anything. I consider it my foremost duty to post the traditions and recipes that aren’t getting their due, that aren’t part of popular milieu. There should be people who make movies like “Vaa quarter cutting” and “Iraivi” also.
In case there are still some people around whom I’ve not offended – “I burst crackers on Deepavali”.
This is a kurma you can make for guests, for dinner parties and special occasions. I’d recommend buying the mutton the previous evening and marinating it overnight. The best accompaniment to this Kurma is idli or dosai. You could however pair it with idiyappam or light phulkas or plain basmati rice. Enjoy!
Deepavali mutton kurma
- Mutton – 1 kilo
- Green Cardamom – 3
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Onions – 5 large chopped fine
- Tomatoes – 2 large chopped fine
- Garlic – 12 cloves peeled
- Ginger – 2 inch piece peeled
- Green chillies – 8-9 slit lengthwise
- Yogurt – 4 tbsp
- Milk – ½ litre
- Coconut milk – 2-3 cups extracted from 1 whole coconut
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 2 tbsp
- Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Ghee – 3 tbsp
- Chopped Coriander leaves – ½ cup
- 1. Clean the mutton well. Rinse in 2-3 changes of water. Drain the water. Add yogurt and turmeric powder to the mutton and mix well with hands to make sure all the mutton pieces are coated well. Allow the mutton to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Refrigerate if you’re letting the mutton marinate overnight.
- 2. Grind the garlic and ginger to a fine paste adding as little water as possible. Set aside.
- 3. Heat a 3 litre or larger pan style cooker. Pour in the oil and ghee. When the oil and ghee turn hot, add the whole spices – cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves.
- 4. When the spices turn fragrant, add the ginger-garlic paste. Fry until the ginger-garlic paste turns golden. It can turn sticky, so you’ll have to stir and scrape in between.
- 5. Once the ginger garlic paste is cooked, add the chopped onions and slit green chillies and fry until the onions turn golden brown. Keep stirring at intervals. Add a tablespoon of water if the mixture turns too sticky.
- 6. When the onions have browned, add the chopped tomatoes and fry until they turn mushy.
- 7. Add the marinated mutton along with the marinade to the onion-tomato mixture in the cooker. Mix well and cook for about 10 minutes.
- 8. Add red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Pour in the milk and mix well. Bring to a boil. Cover with the pressure cooker lid and plug in the weight once steam comes out. Reduce heat to low and cook for 25-35 minutes.
- 9. Switch off. Let the pressure subside. Open the pressure cooker lid. The mutton mixture should be cooked through but with a watery gravy. Mix well. Turn heat to medium-high and cook for 5-10 minutes or till most of the water evaporates and the gravy is thickened. If the gravy starts sputtering, cover with a regular lid and continue cooking.
- 10. Once the gravy is thickened, add garam masala powder and mix well. Pour in the coconut milk, mix well and turn heat to low. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook for 5-7 minutes till the coconut milk is incorporated and the kurma comes together. Switch off. Stir in the chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with soft thick dosais or idlis. Enjoy!