As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t really dream about food. Yes, I think about it at odd times and places, anything that triggers an idea or concept about food, does get me thinking. But never in my dreams. Oh..Never say ‘never’ right?
It happened! This one time I dreamt of Mutton Kolhapuri. Now, to be honest I have a sweet tooth and I love baking. But why on earth of all things did I dream of Mutton Kolhapuri? *rolls eyes* Even I don’t know. I lived in Mumbai for the major part of my life but guess what…and to make things more perplexing… I have (been acquainted with Kolhapuri cuisine but) never had Mutton Kolhapuri, ever!
How could I even dream of something I really don’t know what it tastes like? Not even in my dream. When I had just served myself and was about to eat it, I woke up. Somethings in life, you just have to let be.. I guess, sigh!
Then on a usual weekly hangout with my cousin, she mentioned she felt like eating mutton. And since Mutton Kolhapuri was playing on my mind ever since, I decided to give it a go. I checked out a couple of recipes to retain the essence but have made some changes to suit my circumstance and convenience.
Kolhapuri cuisine is known for its bold fiery flavours. Although the curry looks vibrant, the spice wasn’t overpowering for my Indian palate. Also, when I made it, I served it with a mild pulav and a cooling mint raita. I trust you to use your judgement likewise.
Kolhapuri spice mix:
Dessicated coconut (Khopra)- half a cup
Dried kashmiri red chillies – 4-5
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
Cummin seeds – 1 tbsp
Sesame – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick – half a stick
Black peppercorns – 5-6
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Grind the above (WITHOUT ADDING WATER) to a dry spice mix. You can prepare this mix in advance and store it refrigerated in an airtight container for upto 2-3 days.
Kashmiri chillies provide a nice fiery red colour to the dish without the extra heat. Avoid using any other variant.
Note: Use only dessicated coconut and not fresh grated coconut. Many recipes I came across use an addition of poppy seeds as well to the above list of ingredients. However, since it is banned in Dubai, I had none at hand and skipped it. Nevertheless, I am completely satisfied with the way the curry turned out even without it.
Marinate the mutton/lamb:
Note: In India, we use goats meat,generally referred to as mutton to prepare this dish. My supermarket labeling here mentioned lamb.
Mutton/Lamb (stew cut) – 650 gms rinse under running water to clean
Garlic-Ginger paste – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 3/4th tsp
Lemon Juice – juice of 1&1/2 – 2 small indian lemons
Salt to taste (1 tsp)
Mix all the above ingredients and keep it aside for 40 mins – 1 hr.
Prepare the Kolhapuri curry:
Ghee/ Clarified butter – 1 & 1/2 tbsp
Black peppercorns – 4-5
Cloves – 4-5
Cinnamon stick – half a stick
Bayleaf (dried) – 2-3 slightly crushed
Onions – 2 medium sliced
Garlic – 2 cloves chopped
Kolhapuri spice mix – the entire qty from the above mentioned spice mix recipe
Salt – to taste/half a tsp
Tomatoes – 2 medium chopped
Coriander leaves – chopped – for garnishing
- In a pressure cooker, add ghee. When it starts to heat up, add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf.
- After a minute, add onions and garlic and saute till the onions turn golden.
- Once the onions turn golden, add the kolhapuri spice mix, tomatoes and salt.
- Saute the tomatoes for a min and add the marinated mutton along with any water residue from the marination.
- Give it a good stir and pressure cook it for about 4-5 whistles for well done and tender meat.
- Once done, turn off the heat and allow the cooker to cool down a bit. Check and adjust the salt to taste and add chopped coriander to garnish.