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50 Great Curries of India
by Camellia Panjabi

Kaalee Mirch Cha Mutton (Konkan Coast)
This recipe is from the home of a chef from the Konkan coast. This region celebrates fresh cilantro leaves and, of course, pepper, which comes from Calicut, just south of Goa. Don't be put off by the number of ingredients.
Serves 6


    • 2 cups cilantro leaves
    • 1/2 cup mint leaves
    • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
    • about 20 skinned almonds or unroasted cashew nuts
    • 6 green chiles
    • a pinch mustard seeds or dry mustard or 1/2 teaspoon mustard
    • 4 tablespoons oil
    • 3/4-in piece cinnamon broken
    • 4 green cardamom pods
    • 3 cloves
    • 7oz onions, finely chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 x 3/4-in peeled ginger, chopped
    • 2¼ lb boneless stewing lamb, cut in 1-in cubes
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1½ teaspoons coriander powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
    • 3½ fl oz plain yogurt, whipped
    • salt
    • 1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves


1. Put the cilantro leaves, mint leaves, coconut, nuts, green chiles, and mustard into a food processor and blend to a fine puree, adding 1/3 cup of water.

2. In a shallow pot, heat the oil, then add the cinnamon, cardamoms, and cloves. After 1 minute, add the onions and saute for 15 minutes until the onions are just turning brown, then add the garlic, ginger, and the lamb. Turn the heat to medium-high and saute the lamb for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin powders and stir the lamb continuously for a few minutes so that it is thoroughly coated with the spices.

3. Turn the heat down very low, then slowly add the yogurt and once again stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the green puree, 2 cups of water, and 1 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, cover and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes over a low heat. Then add the lemon juice and check the seasoning. If you want more curry sauce, add some water.

4. When ready to serve, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and garam masala powder. Stir well. Put into a serving dish and garnish with the chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

Ideal with boiled Basmati rice.


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