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Recipe: Roopali Mohanti's Green Mutton Curry

July 14, 2023 17:07 IST
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Roopali Mohanti's Servings: Simple Yet Exotic is a warm and wonderful collection of recipes, and the tales behind them, that showcase the skills she learned in hotel management school and built upon through the years.

She describes how it all began: 'My fascination with laying complete meals and in the right combination on the table somewhere stems from my growing-up years. Introduction to regional food from various parts of India, as well as from other countries, at an early age was a gift from the partly-nomadic life we led with my father being in the Indian Navy.

'The official mess night menus, which I would hear of, would fascinate me, as there was great emphasis laid on each course and the right combination of dishes. When I finally got down to running my own household and entertaining I decided to keep a notebook with details of what I serve on these occasions and attempt to not repeat dishes with the same guests!

'The communities we lived in were a great source of learning about different food habits of people and my mother constantly made an effort to learn from them. I often use her recipe book, which has the Remington typewriter script and has yellowed with time. The inspiration of collating recipes is from there.

'The African philosophy of Ubuntu -- 'I am because you are' -- literally meaning that a person is a person through other people, holds true in most aspects of my life including this book.

'All through its pages there is an outpouring of recipes from mothers, aunts, friends, teachers, house staff and sometimes even people I haven’t met, but whose recipes have been recommended and I have tried. My task with most of their recipes was to quantify the ingredients as most people cook by instinct'.

Roopali's book is bursting with recipes from so many corners of India. Do go ahead and try her Mangala Aunty's Green Mutton Curry, which is a great addition to a sumptuous meal you might be planning for a family gathering or when you have friends over.

The curry goes well with a bowl of hot steamed rice or neer dosas.

Mangala Aunty's Green Mutton Curry

Serves: 4


For the masala paste

  • 3-4 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic pod, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 6-8 lavang or cloves
  • 1 tsp dhania or coriander seeds
  • 2-inch stick dalcheeni or cinnamon
  • 1 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp khus khus or poppy seeds
  • 2-inch piece ginger, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped green dhania or coriander or cilantro
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp oil

For the mutton gravy

  • 1 kg mutton, curry cut
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed
  • ¾ cup fresh methi or fenugreek leaves
  • 2 sprigs green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves, chopped, optional
  • 2–3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 ml water


For the masala paste

  • Heat the oil in a small kadhai or saucepan over medium heat.
    Add all the whole spices and the poppy seeds.
    Saute for a few minutes.
    Add the chopped ginger, garlic, onion and saute again.
    Take off heat and cool.
    Add the chopped coriander leaves, green chillies and grind the mixture to a coarse paste in a mixer.
    Keep aside.

For the mutton gravy

  • Heat the oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat.
    Add the chopped onions and saute, with ¼ tsp of the salt, till brown.
    Add the methi leaves and saute.
    Add the ground masala paste and let it cook over medium-low heat.
    Add the pureed tomatoes and the remaining salt.
    Stir and cook for 15 minutes.
    Add the mutton and let it cook in the masala for 15 minutes.
    Add 150 ml water, close the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
    Open the pressure cooker and let the mutton simmer for 20 minutes.
    Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Excerpted from Servings: Simple Yet Exotic by Roopali Mohanti, with the kind permission of the publishers Rupa Publications India.

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