Nestled in among the green carpets of paddy fields, in a village near Palakkad, was the home of my husband’s grandmother. It was the sort of house you would identify with ” The House of The Seven Gables”. The rooms were large and our room sort of swallowed me.
The evening meal at 8 was rice and mutton stew. The mutton was soft and the gravy simply wonderful. The taste lingers with me till this day.
I remember that evening and many memories come flowing back to me. Once the lights were off it was pitch dark , save for the fireflies and the light of the “choot” carried by the occasional wayfarer passing by the the varambu ( the pathway between the fields) some distance away. I could see them vigorously swinging the torch up and down. The wind whistled through the trees and came in to caress us through the large windows.
All these memories are packed into this mutton stew..…..Please enjoy!
Mutton stew is served with rice and chappathis but is best with appam. This curry spiced with cinnamon, cloves and black pepper and stewed in freshly extracted coconut milk is traditional and embedded in the Malayali psyche.
Serves : 4 Preparation time : 30 mins Cooking time : 45 mins
- Tender mutton – 500 gms (cleaned and cut into cubes)
- Potatoes – 2 cut into cubes
- Onions – 3 sliced fine
- Garlic – 1/2 pod – grind coarsely with ginger
- Ginger – 4 cm
- Green chilly – 4 sliced long
- Cloves – 5
- Cinnamon – 2
- Coconut – 1/2 grated
- Curry leaves – 1sprig
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Salt – To taste
- Peppercorns – 5, crushed
- Extract coconut milk. We need from the first extraction – one and a half cups of thick milk, second extraction – two cups of thin milk.
- Heat oil in a heavy pan, add crushed cloves, cinnamon, pepper and saute.
- Add ginger – garlic paste and saute
- Add sliced onions, chillies and fry till onions are transparent, add meat and fry for a few minutes.
- Pour the thin milk, add potatoes and salt.
- Cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the mutton is well cooked.
- In low heat, add thick coconut milk and curry leaves. Stir. Just when it starts to simmer, remove from heat .
Note: The gravy can be made thicker by adding 1 tsp maida or cornflour diluted in 1 tbsp water.
Do you know tapioca made its entry into Kerala in the Late Nineteenth Century from Latin America. It was introduced by the then Maharajah of Travancore during a period of famine.