Saturday, July 1, 2017

Mutton with Mint and Fenugreek

A profusion of mint literally leaves me with picking through recipes. Leaves goes into salad, in kababs, on pizza, in chutney....I've been busy!!!! Then I find a green masala mutton recipe that calls for an abundance of spinach. What if I replace spinach with fresh mint and fresh fenugreek leaves? I decide to give it a whirl. Picking mint leaves is easy. Picking fenugreek or methi leaves is arduous. Each leaf has to be snipped off the stems. It's one of those jobs where your mind  could be in two places at the same time!

Both mint and methi  leaves are washed and patted dry. Blended along with cilantro and chiles, the paste has a vivid green look. A few browned onions, ginger and garlic fry along with mutton. Mutton, as Indians call it, is essentially goat meat. Sold at halal butchers, goat meat is less fatty than lamb. I do substitute lamb shoulder often. And when I do I always, always skim the fatty oils off the top the stew or curry. Once the meat has lightly browned, add the paste and whisked yogurt. Stir the mutton well. As I am mostly pressed for time before dinner, I use the pressure cooker. It does the job in no time at all. You could very well use a slow cooker. Follow the recipe till you have whisked in the yogurt. Do not add any water and let the slow cooker do its magic. A caveat...your kitchen, maybe the house will be filled with pungent curry flavors!!! As is mine when I open the pressure cooker!! But then, these are comforting aromas....this is India in my kitchen.

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds Goat or Lamb meat 
1 cup Mint Leaves 
2 cups Fenugreek or Methi leaves
1 cup Cilantro leaves
2-3 Green Chiles (more if you like it spicy)
3 tablespoons Canola Oil 
2 large Onions
8 Garlic cloves
5-6 large coins of Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1 cup whole or 2% Yogurt, whisked till smooth
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1 teaspoon Garam masala

Wash meat well and pat dry. Keep aside while you make the ground paste.

Put mint, fenugreek, cilantro and chiles in a blender. 

Add 5 tablespoons water and blend till you have a smooth paste. Add more water if needed.

Mix green masala and yogurt with meat. 

Marinate meat for 1 hour.

Peel, halve and thinly slice onions in half moons.

Lightly smash garlic cloves and ginger coins.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker.

Add onions to hot oil and let them cook till golden brown.

Drop smashed garlic and ginger into onions. Saute for 30 seconds.

Add meat to onions. Saute for 10 minutes till tinged brown.

Season with salt.

Cook according to your pressure cooker directions.

At this point you could place the mutton into a slow cooker as well. Follow those directions.

You could cook the meat stovetop as well. Cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Check water every 15 minutes. Add more if needed. Depending on the quality of the meat, it could take 40-50 minutes.

When meat is done, uncover and sprinkle garam masala. Let the gravy bubble and simmer for 3-5 minutes. You should have a thickish gravy.

Serve with rice or chapattis.

This is finger food...use your fingers to pry the meat away from the bones! Goat meat cooks up succulently. Leaves me asking for more. Thus ends my leafy story.