I had a cook book called ‘The Suriani Kitchen’ – Recipes and Recollections from the Syrian Christians of Kerala, by Lathika George.
It is by far one of the most exhaustive cook books that I have come across that has been put together so painstakingly by the author.
Since I love reading and knowing about other cultures, traditions and societies, this book is a window to the gorgeous state of Kerala. And of course, living in Kerala for some years, I can now relate to these recipes, ideas and the thoughts penned down by the author.
The Mutton Pepper Fry has a certain rustic warmth to it. It is a dish that you would like to have on a Sunday afternoon with your family followed by a good book and an afternoon siesta. Only then can you do justice to this dish! It’s got the heat from the black pepper rather than the chillies, which adds to the homely warmth. Prepare it in the earthen skillet or chatti as it is called in Kerala, to enhance the smokiness of the Mutton Pepper Fry.
I had a couple of earthen skillets and boy, do they enhance the flavour of the dishes! The Kerala style chicken curry or the mutton pepper fry are outstanding when cooked on the earthen skillet as they lend a certain smoky and an earthy taste, flavour, colour and aroma to the entire dish.
The only variation that I have done in this recipe is that, instead of boiling the meat in a pot, I boiled it for a whistle or two in a pressure cooker to save time and I kept a slight gravy to go with steamed rice.
I tried out the Mutton Pepper Fry over a Sunday, and it was deliciously good; thanks Lathika for sharing this wonderful recipe!
- Mutton – ½ kg
- Cardamom Pods – 3
- Cloves – 3
- Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
- Black pepper corns – 2 tbsp
- Ground coriander – 2 tbos
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Thinly sliced onion – 1 cup
- Oil – ¼ cup
- Tomatoes – 4 nos. quartered
- Crushed garlic – 3 tbsp
- Curry leaves – 12 nos.
- Dry toast the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and coarsely grind them.
- Boil the mutton with water, coriander, chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Give it a couple of whistles and switch off gas.
- Once the entire steam escapes, you can turn on the gas to evaporate the water a little. Take care to not overcook the mutton. You can add less water to boil the mutton in the pressure cooker if you wish.
- Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai and fry the onion slices until soft.
- Drop in the chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic and curry leaves and fry for couple of minutes more.
- Now add the crushed pepper corns and the mutton and sauté on low heat.
- Mix the ground spices and fry the meat for 4-5 minutes.
- Cook until the meat mixture gets a soothing brown colour and serve hot with steamed rice or the delicious Kerala porota.