Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vaishali's - very healing Mutton curry

Vaishali's was the very first couch I surfed. Not really out of choice but more out of "I broke my leg -and I need your help" type of necessity. I did sleep on her couch for 5 days as the guest room was upstairs. All I can say is that she was an angel who came to my rescue. Also to be noted is that her husband Sudhir had broken his finger in a cricket match accident. So she had taken on nursing two handicapped people back to health as well as taking care of her two year old son. So while I was practicing making my crutches my new limbs she was cooking up a storm feeding all of us amazing food.
The most memorable was the mutton curry that she made. Her mom and Google both say that mutton is good for healing bones. Thank god because this was a treat- hands down one of the best mutton dishes I have ever had (and believe me I have had a few). Vaishali kindly shared this recipe with me.

So here goes: Make it on Sunday. Start early in the morning. Take your time cooking the mutton.
Make sure you have tons of rotis/ naans to go with this. (more than usual)

Mutton recipe
3 lbs of mutton- with bone
3 tbsp of Everest Mutton masala
Red chili powder
Salt to taste

Below are the ingredients for the pastes:

Green paste 
Fresh cilantro
Garlic 5-7 cloves
Ginger - a sq inch

Grind and keep aside.

Red Paste
2 Onions- rough chopped
2 tbsp Dry coconut powder
1-2 Bay leaf
2 tsp cumin
2-3 cloves
1 blk cardamon
1 cinammon stick
2-3 dried red chilies
7-8 black pepper corns
8-9 cashews
1 kalami flower (looking up the english name- any suggestions?)
2-3 roma tomatoes

Saute onions, add the rest of the ingredients except the tomatoes. Grind mixture and add tomato to the mixture.

For cooking the mutton:
  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add the green paste to it and slowly cook it in the oil till it turns an olive color (and the oil starts to separate around the edges of the pan)
  3. Add the red paste to the green paste and slowly mix the two pastes. Allow the pastes to fry for a while (10 mintutes)
  4. Add 2-3 tbsp of Everest Mutton Masala. Stir
  5. Add red chili pwd (according to taste), salt and turmeric.
  6. Add the mutton and stir it slowly in the paste. Allow the mutton to fry in the paste atleast 30 min.
  7. Add water and cover and let the mutton cook for 1 1/2 hours. Periodically check on the mutton and stir.

  8. Serve with roti/ naan and rice.

Wickedly delicious! Great table setting by the way.

Frushi anybody? OMG!

Before I left Chicago, Vaishali and I went to this amazing breakfast place called Orange with a Peel in Lincoln Park. Their signature dish is Frushi. Totally worth a try. Frushi is fruits wrapped in rice infused in coconut and orange juice served with mango puree and strawberry puree. Such a cute idea!
We ordered Chai Tea French Toast: Baked, chai tea-infused French toast, stuffed with Ricotta cheese, served over a chai tea latte reduction and topped with honey and caramelized apples. Can you believe this amazing combination. On a cold wintry day this is the ultimate comfort food. We also ordered their Huevos Rancheros: Eggs served with homemade tortilla chips, bean puree and salsa verde, topped with white cheddar cheese & potatoes. Not so signature but just as delicious!

Thanks Vaishali for sharing your excellent mutton recipe. I still dream about it.
Vaishali Katyarmal is an architect from India currently based and working in the Chicago Area. She founded  Silver |a+d|. She recently presented in Pecha Kucha Chicago on February 20th on what we can learn from the Gujarat earthquake and how it is relevant to the post earthquake work in Haiti. Check her presentation here.


  1. hey zazu
    that mutton curry looks so good - i want to try making it too.
    btw - mutton is the same thing as lamb right? or is it goat?
    im so confused!!
    anyways - im sitting here writing my committee meeting document and getting very very very hungry - its going well though but i think i need to stop and eat something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. All sheep-
    lamb - sheep that is 0-12 mths old, then comes hogget and oldest is mutton.
    according to wikipedia:
    * Lamb — a young sheep under 12 months of age which does not have any permanent incisor teeth in wear
    * Hogget — a young male sheep or maiden ewe having no more than two permanent incisors in wear
    * Mutton — a female (ewe) or castrated male (wether) sheep having more than two permanent incisors in wear.

  3. aaaah ok that makes sense. and what's kalami flower? is it the jaymatri thing? or is the anus/anees thing?
    im gonna cook this today - im very much up for some delicious lamb. do u have any more recommendations / tips for me?????

  4. take your time....what are anus seeds... anise- janu! and its javitri. No the kalami is not that.. I tried googling it. Ill ask Vaishali

  5. @Jahnvi, I get the baby goat fresh meat all the way from Devon St (its our lil India of Chicago).

    I have cooked this with lamb too...use less oil if u are using lamp meat (it seeps out its own fat).

    And the Kalami looks like a star flower brown. I will post the name to Jyo once i figure it.

    Also, for the red paste make sure...u roast jeera...coconut...and rest of the things. this will bring out the flavours...and the house smells gr8 too.

  6. That kalami thing sounds like star anise!