Railway Lamb / Mutton Curry dates back to the days of the British Raj, when traveling by train was considered aristocratic. This very popular and slightly spicy dish was served in Railway Refreshment Rooms and on long distance trains, with Bread or Dinner Rolls. The curry was not too spicy keeping in mind the delicate palates of the British. It was also popular with the Railway staff who had to be on duty for long periods at a stretch. The vinegar or Tamarind juice used in its preparation would ensure that the curry would last for quite a few days and was an ideal accompaniment with rice as well.
I remember my great grandfather making this curry using ghee, he learnt it from some of his colleagues.
I found this recipe in my grand mom's recipe book a few years back.
Mutton or Lamb - 1/2 kg
Peppercorns - 6
Onions - 2 big - sliced
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Cloves - 2
Black Cardamoms - 2
Curry leaves - 10
Dry red chilies broken into bits - 4
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 2 tbsp or tamarind juice - 1/2 cup
Wash the meat and mix it with the ginger garlic paste, salt and the chilly powder.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, curry leaves and red chilies till golden brown. Grind the fried ingredients along with 1/2 cup water to a smooth paste. Take a heavy bottomed pan or cooker, add the meat and the ground masala and mix well. Fry for a few minutes.
Add the vinegar / Tamarind juice and sufficient water and cook on medium heat till the meat is done. Keep frying till the gravy is thick and dark brown.
Serve hot with steaming rice or fresh bread/rotis.