Before getting to the recipe maybe I should address the glaringly obvious question on your mind: goat?! In common parlance the term mutton is used to denote both sheep and goat meat. I’ll clarify. Mutton and lamb are the meat of domestic sheep. Goat meat is from, well, goats. Goat and sheep are completely different animals. To break it down even further, a sheep in its first year is called a lamb (its meat also goes by lamb) and mutton is the meat of an adult sheep.

Sheep being used for meat is so rare in most parts of India that it’s safe to assume that if someone’s selling you ‘mutton’, it’s almost always not mutton but goat meat. And in majority of cases lamb is also goat meat or the meat of a young goat, but goat nonetheless. I know I have the tendency to get caught up with semantics, but it’s unsettling to know that what’s constituted a regular part of my diet for pretty much my entire life is not what I thought it was. After misusing the term for so long it might be a hard switch though – ‘goat biriyani’ sounds too weird.

   Moving onnn. Now that I’ve got that off my chest here’s the low-down on the kurma: if you skim through the recipe you might find that it calls for raisins to be blended up and stirred in. Raisins provide sweetness here, albeit this addition is unorthodox by all standards. I’ve read about recipes that use sugar or even honey but never raisins, and never blended up (rarely, if ever, you might find it tempered with whole spices and nuts.)  They balance out the acid from the yogurt and lime and spice from the chilli powder and green chillies. Got to like an unusual and ‘secret ingredient’ recipe!

I make this kurma so often and especially when I’m cooking Indian food for a crowd. Like all curries, you can scale it up to feed a lot of people, it can be made a day or many hours in advance, and the leftovers reheat really well. I usually serve it alongside my mom’s ghee rice and idiyappams. The ingredient list may look overwhelmingly long but please bear with it, as most of them are pantry staples.

 

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MALABAR GOAT KURMA
Servings
4-6
Ingredients
  • 3/4 kg goat meat (bone in)
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 in. piece of ginger
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 4 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp raisins
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 8 cashew nuts
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 in. piece of cassia bark or cinnamon
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 9 cloves
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt, to taste
Servings
4-6
Ingredients
  • 3/4 kg goat meat (bone in)
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 in. piece of ginger
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 4 green chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp raisins
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 8 cashew nuts
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 in. piece of cassia bark or cinnamon
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 9 cloves
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Blend ginger and garlic to a paste without adding water. Tip into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. To the same blender, add raisins, cashew nuts and coconut milk. Blend to a paste and set aside.
  3. Heat ghee and oil in a pressure cooker or a heavy-bottomed pot. Once the ghee starts to melt, add cardamom pods (slightly bruise to release the seeds; add seeds and pods), cloves and cassia bark. Stir for a few seconds.
  4. Add the onions and green chillies and sauté for 7-10 minutes until the onions start to darken around the edges. Add the ginger and garlic paste and stir for 1 minute. Tip in the tomatoes and sauté for 5-7 minutes until they completely break down to a pulp and the oils start to separate.
  5. Add coriander powder, chilli powder, yogurt, the blended raisin paste, 1 ½ cups of water, mint leaves, coriander leaves and salt. Add the meat, stir, and cook covered until tender (it took me 12-15 minutes in a pressure cooker). Note: if the curry looks too runny, cook uncovered over a high flame for a few minutes and let it reduce a bit.
  6. Add lime juice and stir. Check and adjust seasoning. Garnish with coriander and mint leaves and serve hot with rice or Indian breads.
Recipe Notes

- Use boneless meat if you prefer, but a lot of the flavour of the curry comes from the bones.

- Goat meat can be substituted for chicken or beef in this recipe. Cooking times will differ.

 

 

2 Comments

chhavi

Can’t wait to try this!Pureed raisins is indeed unusual..but it certainly adds to the allure!😀
I have been trying to make sense of this mutton goat connundrum for the longest of times!

Reply
Kirthana Kumar

It is, isn’t it! I don’t think you could replace raisins without anything else and get the same flavour.
I continue to call it goat after having misused the term for so long, but I’m happy I’m aware of it now. 🙂

Reply

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