Sunday, 4 May 2014

Masala Mutton - AFF Indian Subcontinent


At long last, I have gathered enough strength and courage to attempt a full blown Indian curry. Just look at the long list of ingredients.




This recipe comes from the book Banana Leaf Temptations  - The Complete Collection of Mouth Watering South Indian Recipes. I bought this cookbook many years ago because I love Indian curries especially the curries I eat at banana leaf restaurants. But one look at the recipes, I gave up without even trying. All I ever did till now was to flip through the book and as a result, this is what happened to the book :


The binding of this book is very poor.
This month's featured cuisine on Asian Food Festival is the Indian Subcontinent comprising the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sir Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. In support of the host, Alvin of Chef and Sommelier, I am finally cooking something from my tattered cookbook.



But I admit I was not very confident when I chose Masala Mutton as my first attempt.  I took long deep breaths, in, out, in, out, before I started. At the rate I was hyperventilating, you would think that I was going into labor. And oh, let me show you what I did in preparation for my month long Indian project :



I stocked up my pantry with spices and now I am raring to go! I love mutton curry but I had no idea what is the name of the mutton curry that I have eaten at the Indian restaurant. And looking at the many mutton curry recipes in the book, I chose this one for a start. There is no photo in the cookbook for this dish and when I googled, I found so many different looking Masala Mutton. Some were yellow and some were red and some were dark in color. I guess there are many variations of this masala and the one I cooked turned out to be yellow. At the early stages of cooking, I was quite worried because this was how the curry looked like :



And the smell was funny hah..hah...But when all the components were added into the curry, it started to smell better. But something was missing. I couldn't figure out what it was and I left the curry to simmer. When I came downstairs 45 minutes later, wow, the smell was really good. It was mutton curry smell. And it occurred to me that the missing factor was the smell of the mutton hah...hah....



I was quite happy with this curry but I think I will make a few adjustments in future just to suit my own taste. And of course I will post it again with my findings (yeah, like I'm so clever). So, I will leave you with the original recipe below. I followed it almost to a tee (except that I used candlenuts instead of cashew nuts and blanched almonds) as I did not dare to make any changes on my first attempt.











Masala Mutton
Recipe source : Banana Leaf Temptations (page 56)

Ingredients :
- 1 kg mutton pieces, preferably boneless
- 7 tbsp oil
- 2 cinnamon sticks (about 4 cm)    )
-10 cardamoms                                  )
- 5 cloves                                             ) ingredients for
- 2 tsp aniseed, coarsely pounded   ) frying
- 2 onions, sliced                                )
- a few curry leaves                          )
- 300 ml yogurt                        )
- 9 green chillies                       )      
- 12 cloves garlic                       ) Blend till 
- 1 cm piece ginger                   ) smooth (A)
- 4 large onions                         )
- 800 ml water                         )
- 60g cashew nuts                         )
- 30g blanced almonds                 )
- 400 ml thick coconut milk        )  Blend till
- 2.5 tbsp ground corriander       )   smooth (B)
-  2 level tsp ground turmeric     )
- 2 level tsp ground chilli             )
- 5 cardamoms                              )
- 6 large tomatoes, sliced
-  enough salt

Method :
1.  Heat oil and fry the ingredients for frying until very fragrant.
2. Add the mutton pieces and blended ingredients (A) and cook till mutton pieces are almost tender. (Use pressure cooker to save time)
3. Add the blended ingredients (B) and tomatoes and stir to mix well. Lower the heat and cook the mutton until it becomes tender and lots of oil surfaces. Add salt to taste.
4. Skim off the oil and serve with rice, thosai or idli.



I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - Indian Subcontinent hosted by Chef and Sommelier.

51 comments:

  1. Oooo...I love lamb masala! Slurpssss!!!!

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    1. It was not bad for a first attempt. To be improved!

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  2. Salute! You are fast and you have made it. I been looking at your recipe and oh my....indeed it is a long list of spices in. I am sure this curry must be full of aroma and tasty! Way to go Phong Hong.

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    1. Thanks, Mel! I really want to learn to cook real Indian curries!

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  3. Wow so many spices, sure looks flavourful!

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    1. Mich, it was flavourful and I did enjoy the masala!

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  4. Wow wow wow! I'm really impressed Phong Hong!

    Thank you so much for your support! I'm very sure you will go a long way with the spice that you had stocked up! :D

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    1. Hi Alvin! Thanks to this event, I am finally kick starting my Indian cooking adventure!

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  5. wow, at first i was impressed with the dish, and then next i was even more impressed with those herbs and spices you have, haha!! well, but i guess those are just nothing to somebody who loves cooking right?? you keep herbs and spices like many fashionista keeps heels.. i don't fancy mutton (because of the strong smell) but curry anytime, i am imagining this dish as chicken massala, ah, can make me wallop two big bowls of rice~~ :)

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    1. Hi SK! This is very labour intensive but that's how proper Indian cooking is like. I agree that mutton has a strong smell and the spices help to mellow the smell and make it so appetizing. My next dish will be chicken but have to wait till next week :)

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  6. Que bonito post, me he paseado por tu bloc y me ha encantado, te invito a ver el mio, estamos celebrando el dia de la madre, y si te gusta y no eres seguidora espero que te hagas ahora, gracias por visitarme. FELIZ DIA DE LA MADRE💐Elracodeldetall.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Julia! I will visit you soon :)

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  7. I guess I have never made any Indian food, I must search for all the spices and try it someday!

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    1. Hi Ola! Yes, you must try it, It is worth the effort!

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  8. omg! the ingredients list is super long, salute you Phong Hong! I'm sure this is a very aromatic dish!

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    1. Thanks, Tze! The hard work paid off as it was good for a first try :)

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  9. Phong Hong, you did exactly what I just did with one of my old cookbooks...although I didn't take a photo of the book, but finally decided to make something from my old dessert book...long list of ingredients (book still holding strong)
    So incredibly beautiful and perfectly spiced sauce, totally droolworthy delicious! You did an amazing job on this long list of recipe...which would scare a lot of cooks; not wanting to deal with it!

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! I simply had to give it a try as I love Indian food. I really want to cook a proper tasty Indian meal and this is the time for me to finally put my cookbook to good use!

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  10. Wow, this must have been a lot of hard work but the results looks totally fulfilling! Thumbs up!

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    1. Oh, yes! I was running around my small kitchen trying not to get confused!

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  11. I've read your comment.. Psstt, it's not post-partum depression.. I know coz it's caused by "something else".. I know the root of my problem, but this problem, I can't do anything but to let time heal.. But time is taking too long, I don't know when it's gonna heal.. I always tell myself "this too shall pass".. But when?

    Wah, your curry looks so good! Can eat two bowls of gunung riceSo many ingredients needed.. I, for one, very lazy one.. Sometimes I have this "tidak apa besok lusa" attitude (weird, I know, coming from somebody with mild OCD and "a little" depression).. Depends on what situation.. If it's cooking or baking, then I always choose the easy way out, the ones with the shortest and simplest ingredients..

    I love the milky and creamy texture in your Indian curry.. So, as usual? Finished jor mei? If me ahh, I no need rice or whatever.. Just give me a spoon and I wallop all.. Only "sik liew" (eat only the meat without rice).. Teehee..

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    1. Hi Louiz! My attitude towards Indian food has always been it is easier to tapau or eat at the restaurant. Too much work and I was not sure if I can get the taste correct. But belum cuba belum tahu. This dish was alright for a first attempt and I'll fine tune it one day just to suit my own taste. I found it a bit too sour for me.

      Whatever the source that is troubling you, I sure hope that you overcome it in time to come. Some situations take longer to resolve. Keep working on it and you will be fine.

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  12. Ok I give up...too many ingredients. ..pening liao see that. I go tumpang makan when u vook la. Lol

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    1. Boleh...but I cannot guarantee that it will taste like the one at banana leaf shop hee,,,hee...

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  13. I have bring a bowl of rice to eat your curry...so many spices for this curry, definitely a good one! Wow!

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    1. Hi Jozelyn! No problem, there is lots of gravy for you hee..hee..

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  14. Great job on the curry. I think u did an absolutely fantastic job :) I used to cook curry a lot, I like to eat it but not the smell it leaves lingering in the whole house after I cook.

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    1. Thanks, Yen! Yah, the smell lingered till the next morning hah..hah,...

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  15. I tak makan mutton tapi tengok you punya lauk pun can start leleh la... :)

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    1. Hi Mama! Never mind, next week I masak ayam :)

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  16. wow! Masala mutton, one of my flavour dish when i eat at banana leaf restaurant. Rajin betullah Phong Hong! Both thumbs up for you!

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    1. Thank you, Aunty Young! I am cooking some more curry next week hee..hee...

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  17. Ooh, this looks like the perfect dinner!

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  18. Wooooo! Indian food you pun pandai huh!Looks yummy! hehehe..

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    1. Esther, myself tipu-tipu only hee..hee...

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  19. All cooked from scratch! I salute to you, reading the ingredients already made my head spin! I'll just go to my favourite curry paste seller and ask for masala paste lol! Great job!

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    1. Thanks, Jeannie! I am going to make my own curry powder next :)

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  20. Phong Hong, what a coincidence. i also made masala recently but yours has so much more ingredients than mine. Really shows how patient and particular you are in your cooking! I give you 5 stars. Great job.

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    1. Hi Veronica! I was drooling at your chicken masala this morning hah..hah..

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  21. Hi Phong Hong, wow long list of ingredients, so many spices! I'm impressed. Well done ^-^

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    1. Thank you, Karen! There is more to come :)

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  22. I must confess that I don't eat lamb or mutton or beef, I know, I'm missing out a lot of good food there but I will still be appreciating the photos here.

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    1. Jessie, no worries. Next week I cook chicken for you!

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  23. Hi Phong Hong,
    I love eating mutton, and thought of cooking some soon. Your mutton dish looks delish! Haha, I smile when you say that how the long list of ingredients discouraged you to try a dish. I was once, just like you, but now I know, a long list of ingredients does not necessarily mean lots of extra work. It is not as difficult as one might think it is! Mostly, all the spices are mixed together or just mixed into the cooking pot, that's all. It's the long simmering and braising that is the "extra" work for me, got to keep track so the dish do not burn!
    I will eat two plates of rice with your mutton dish, very dangerous for the waist line! Makan dulu, belakang kira! Hahaha! LOL!

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    1. Joyce, you are so right! For such a long list of ingredients, the method was so short hah.hah...Just a few steps and then let the whole pot simmer. I have learnt a lot from this one attempt and I have a few more curries to try. I actually feel very excited hah..hah...This month it is no kira, just makan!

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  24. oh wow, that is a long list of ingredients! I get discouraged by long lists as well! The curry looks amazingly authentic though!

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    1. Thanks! Look at Joyce's comment above. Long list but simple work hah..hah...

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  25. Hi Phong Hong, wow... this is fantastic. Really love this mutton masala, look awesome.
    Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe.

    Best regards.
    Amelia

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    1. Thanks, Amelia! I love mutton curry and this was worth the effort!

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