Mutton Varatharachathu (Mutton in Spices Fried & Ground)

Wish you all a very “Happy Vishu”. Vishu is never complete without “Mutton Varatharachathu”, especially at my home in Mahe (North Kerala). One gets the best result if it is cooked on an open fire with wood and coconut leaves in a clay-pot. I used the clay-pot but didn’t want my neighbors to call in 100, so settled with my gas-stove wink emoticon . Once the ground spice is made, it can be used for making vegetarian dishes with potatoes or even better, with raw jackfruit. There are many variations to this recipe, and all say it is difficult to make. Trust me, this one is comparatively very easy and I urge all to try. As I said, make more of the ground spice and refrigerate it. It stores well.

Mutton Varatharachathu (Mutton in Spices Fried & Ground)

Mutton 2.5 Kgs
4 large potatoes cut in to big cubes (peeled and cooked half way in salt water)
40 grams shallots (you can use normal onions too)
3 big tomatoes cut in to big pieces
5 cloves of garlic crushed
1 inch piece ginger bruised and chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves
4-6 green chillies depending on how hot it is
For the Spice Paste

50 grams coriander seeds
12 dried red chillies (vary it between 8-12 depending on how hot it is)
2 tablespoon black pepper corns
1 inch piece of cinnamon
5 cloves
3 green cardamom

Roast all the above on medium heat until the coriander seeds become dark golden brown and take it out in a bowl to rest and cool

4 tablespoon freshly grated coconut
5 cloves garlic
5 shallots
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 teaspoon cumin

Roast all the above on medium heat until the coconut become dark golden brown and take it out in a bowl to rest and cool

Add both wet and dry spices which are roasted (above) in a blender and grind it to a smooth paste. Add water sparingly while grinding to get the consistency.

Method

Add 5 tablespoon oil in a thick bottomed pan and sauté the shallots until its soft and transparent. Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté for another 5 mins until its cooked. Add the ground spices and sauté it on low heat until the oil splits from the ground spices. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and cooked. Increase the heat to max, and add the mutton and keep stirring until the mutton is evenly coated with the ground spices and the surface is light brown. Add 500 ml of boiling water(Add more water depending on the consistency), salt to taste and simmer it until the mutton is almost cooked. Then add the potatoes and let is cook for another 10 mins. For garnish, take a heavy bottomed pan, add 2 tablespoon of clarified butter (Ghee) in a thick bottomed pan and sauté it until the onion becomes golden brown. Then add 2 sprigs of curry leaves sauté until the curry leaves are crispy and add it to the mutton, which is simmering. Mix well and take it out of the heat and let it rest for about 20-25 mins before serving

Categories: Travel Cuisine

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