A savory, coconut based curry from the south of India. Quite simple but very delicious. This is the first "curry" I ever made, which means it’s REALLY hard to mess up. This recipe also works well with lamb or water buffalo.
1Make a paste of the turmeric, coriander, garam masala, mirch, ginger paste, garlic paste, lime juice, salt, & 2 TBS water, set aside.
2Heat oil & ghee in pressure cooker, heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai until fragrant (about 5 minutes), fry onions until just starting to turn brown.
3Add tomatoes & green chilis to onions in pan, & fry for 5-7 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
44) Stir in spice paste & fry for 3 minutes, be careful not to burn spices, you may add 2 TBS water to prevent this if mixture begins to stick or scorch.
5Stir in meat pieces, mix to coat well with spice/onion mixture. Fry for about 5 minutes.
6Add chopped cilantro leaves, coconut milk, and 1/3 C water. Stir well & bring to simmer. If using pressure cooker: seal & steam for 5-6 whistles for goat or buffalo, 3 whistles for lamb. (If cooking in skillet or kadhai simmer covered for 20-25 minutes until meat is to desired tenderness and oil separates from the sauce.) Salt to taste and serve.
Making a paste of the powdered spices, ginger, and garlic with water and lime juice prevents scorching of the spices when added to hot oil.
This dish is a good example of the traditional "layering" of flavors in Desi cooking-
First the onions are browned a bit, then the tomatoes and green chilis are added and softened, then the spices are stirred in allowing them to mellow with the heat before adding the mutton. Finally the coconut and cilantro are stirred in. The flavors of all the various 'layers' are then melded together in the final cooking.