Achari Mutton Recipe – a must-have in every home cook’s repertoire
Mutton is my favourite form of consuming red meat and though I LOVE pork with equal fervour, it can never quite compare to the deeply satisfying rich taste of a proper Maharashtrian Mutton Curry. This Achari Mutton curry is something I have cooked several times over the past years and tweaked the recipe to get it to this current one. Though I do still love experimenting with the curry by using various pickles, the basic achari mutton recipe remains the same.
How I came about to love this particular recipe is particularly interesting as it is from a phase of my life when I was working a very hectic full-time job back in India. My colleagues and I were all at a party and that’s when I tasted this Achari Chicken which totally blew my socks off! We were all at my boss’s house in Pune and one of my colleagues who also happens to be a trained chef, made Achari chicken and roti’s for us in a flash! It tasted so divine!
Fast foward a few years, to when we have moved to London. I remember,I had to make an urgent trip to India due to some unforseen circumstances. My husband was not able to get leave at short notice and was feeling pretty misreable for not being able to fly with me. I had to do something to lift his spirits and comfort food topped the list. After all, nothing beats the feeling of waking up after a good afternoon nap on a weekend, better till if that nap is brought by the supreme satisfaction one feels after consuming a comforting homecooked meal that reminds you of the taste of life back in India. Exactly for such occasions a good mutton curry and rice meal, is just the thing.
Mutton in a rich pickle flavoured curry
Fresh Mutton was procured but I didn’t have any puree’s to marinate them in and then a brainwave happened ! I got out my most treasured bottle of mango pickle made by my sister’s mum-in-law (who is an expert with pickles and makes a minimum of 10 varieties every summer, yes you heard that right, TEN, these are then packed and parceled all over the world !!)
I really didn’t want to use up all the pickle but for a kilo of mutton, I just had to, ah well small scarifies for the larger good I say 🙂
I silently thank Asha Ma as we lovingly call her, for the fabulous pickles she makes so expertly for her family. And more so for her immense patience with packing them neatly in air-tight, spill-proof containers.
Achari Mutton Curry Recipe
Achari Mutton Recipe
- 1 kilo mutton curry pieces
- 250 gm 1/2 bottle of mango pickle
- 2 tbsp heaped of freshly ground ginger garlic paste
- 200 gm 1/2 tub of yogurt /Dahi
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 3 small Red Onions
- 4 tsp heaped Red Chilli Powder /Laal Tikhat
- 3 tsp heaped Turmeric Powder / Halad
- Pinch Asafoetida / Hing
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 small Stick of cinnamon
- 4 tsp heaped coriander and cumin mix powder
- 3 1/2 tbsp Oil
- 4 boiled eggs peeled and sliced into halves
For the Chilli Marinade
- 3 Green Chillies
- 1 Lime juiced
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- Wash the mutton pieces thoroughly and then pour the pickle over them and add the ginger garlic paste and mix well such that each piece coats well in the pickle.
- Ideally I would marinate this mutton overnight to really let these flavours seep deep into the fibers of the meat. Also, as mutton curry takes longer to cook than lamb it is necessary to ensure that for the flavours to full develop and mature, marination must be done for over 5 hours at least.
- Cover the meat with a plastic cling film and leave in the refrigerator overnight, do not freeze unless the temperature outside is over 35 deg Celsius as at that temperature if the cooling in the fridge is not good the meat may go bad. If freezing the mutton allow at least 4 hours to totally defrost by first moving from freezer to fridge and then keeping it outside.
- Pour the yogurt over the marinated meat and mix well,leave aside for 20 minutes
- Just when you are ready to cook the mutton peel and roughly chop red onions into chunks and also made big pieces of the tomatoes and puree them in the food processor.
- In a large vessel heat the oil and add a pinch of asafoetida, sauté the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick for about 30 seconds on a medium flame.
- Then add the red onion and tomato puree , sauté in the oil ,stirring well and let it simmer on a low flame with 1 cup of water.
- Add red chilli powder,turmeric powder, coriander and cumin mix powder.
- Let this cook for about 10 -12 minutes.
- Now add the marinated mutton and add enough water to make a good amount of gravy , if you are going to use the pressure cooker then add a little extra.
- Cook on a medium flame for about 1 and a half hour , in a pressure cook give it 8 whistles.
- Mutton pieces have a lot of fat attached on the sides which also adds to the oil used for cooking hence I have used less oil.I am unable to eat the overtly oily curry which leave a huge layer of oil on the top if allowed to stand.
- Now for the spicy dip, slit the green or red chillies lengthwise and dip into the oil and red chilli powder mix and add the juice of one lime.
- When the curry is cooked serve hot on a bed of steaming hot rice with half a boiled egg.
For extra flavour bite into the fiery red chilli with the lime-chilli mix. It’s not for the faint-hearted though, but if you really do manage to relish the aftertaste of hot chilli you can safely say that you can now eat any fiery dish without breaking a sweat or getting the runs, a sort of baptism by fire food ritual!! One only for the brave souls! This powerful blast of heat on the tongue will see your forehead dotted with beads of sweat. Truly a labour of love.
The resulting mutton curry is rich in flavour and served hot with fluffy Jeera rice it is such a satisfying and comforting meal. But the best bit is when you leave the balance of this curry overnight , the next day the taste is so much better I’d almost choose left over curry over the fresh 😉
Highly recommend serving this curry with a cooling curd side dish – half a cup of yogurt mixed with with sliced red onions and cucumbers ,seasoned with a pinch of salt , half a spoon of sugar and 1 heaped teaspoon of toasted cumin powder ,garnished with some freshly chopped coriander leaves.I’d wash down the meal with butter milk or a good glass or two of a full bodied red wine.
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