Saturday, 9 February 2013

Chettinad Mutton Chukka or Spicy Lamb dry curry - A Tamilnadu delicacy

Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India.
I love spicy food, and "Mutton Chettinad Chukka" or Dry Mutton curry is one of m favorite in chettinad cuisine.
Here is the recipe for the same...
I have reduced the spice quantity but you could add more chillies if you wish.
Serves 4
Mutton - 500 gms 
Oil -  2 tbsp
Onion - 1 large - chopped very finely, 
Curry leaves - ¼ cup
Tomatoes - 3 - finely chopped 
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp 
Red Chilly powder - ¼ tsp 
Lemon juice or tamarind juice -  2-3 tbsp 
Poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
Cashewnuts - broken pieces - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 3” piece
Garlic - 8-10 flakes 

Chettinad masala:

Coconut - ½ cup - freshly grated  ( in the worst case you could use desiccated too)
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds -  ½ tsp 
Peppercorns - 2½ tsp
Dry red chillies - 5-6 whole
Green cardamoms - 3
Cloves -  2-3 
Cinnamon stick - 1” piece
Oil - 1 tbsp 

Soak poppy seeds and cashewnuts in a little warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan or tawa. Add coconut, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin, peppercorns, dry red chillies, seeds of green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon to oil. Stir-fry till fragrant. Remove from fire.
Drain poppy seeds and cashews. Grind together the roasted masala with the drained poppy seeds-cashewnuts, ginger and garlic in a mixer grinder to a very smooth paste with ¼ cup water. Keep aside.
Grind tomatoes in a mixer to a smooth puree. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan or cooker, and add the chopped onions. Fry till light brown.
Add the mutton and fry for 10 minutes.
Add the pureed tomatoes, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Cook till tomatoes are well blended with the masala and oil separates.
Add the ground paste and curry leaves. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add lemon or tamarind juice and 1/2 cup water, and cover and cook for 25-30 minutes. 
Cook till the masala is thick and almost dry. 
Garnish with grated coconut and curry leaves.
Serve hot.

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