Jun 9, 2008

Spicy Mutton Curry - also known as " Mansa Tarkari "


Ask any Oriya what makes her or him most nostalgic thinking about a lazy Sunday afternoon growing up and they would say the aromatic smell of pot cooked mutton (mansa) the secret recipe handed down from mother to daughter. The sons accompanying their dads and uncles to the butcher (the local mutton vendor) arguing over the cuts and to add some liver and to hold the fat

Times have changed, places have changed and we have traded a lot to be what we are today and yet something’s never change. Like the aroma of the foods that our mother so lovingly cooked the cricket matches that went on forever and the love that warmed the hearts. This recipe originally comes from the kitchens of the Nawabs that once occupied Kalinga and perhaps this is one of their better remembered legacies.Unlike the mutton curry from the rest of India, this specialty requires the overnight marinade of the cuts and then the slow cooking of the mutton (traditionally this was done in earthen pots over wood fired cow dung plastered home made ovens in the backyard where it would not touch the vegetables in the Handishala (kitchen). With no earthen pots I have had to rather reluctantly use the non stick cookware to cook the mutton to its succulent best by preserving the traditional spices that give it the nostalgic remembrance.I have also tired to make a small variation by holding off the water to make the gravy more thick to be in times with the modern day food styles. Another important variation is not using the fat of the mutton to cook it as well one has to watch one’s heart over one’s tongue.

I recently came across a wonderful article in the reader digest that marinating meat not only enhance the taste but also helps in lowering the unhealthy cholesterol compounds that form during cooking.


500gms Mutton/ lamb cut into pieces

½ cup yogurt

2 onions medium sized grind into a paste with dried 2 to3 red chilies

3 tomatoes cut into pieces

1 tblsp garlic paste

1 tbslp ginger paste

1tsp black whole pepper

3 to4 cloves

1 inch cinnamon stick

3 to4 cardamom pods

1tbslp cumin powder

1 tbslp coriander powder

1tbslp turmeric

1 tbslp Garam masala

2 potatoes cut into big chinks

2 tbslp Vegetable oil

Salt to taste.

Chopped coriander ( optional)

Method .

Wash and clean the mutton and trim the excess fat. Marinate it with yogurt and salt for over night in the fridge.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add slightly crushed pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon. when they start spluttering, add the onion paste, sauté till the onion is done and it does not have raw smell. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes are blended well. Add the dry masala and salt excluding the garam masala. When the masala is cooked thoroughly add potatoes and marinated mutton pieces (drain the excess liquid from the mariantion).

Keep stirring it on medium fire for approx ten mins. Keep sprinkling water so that the masala doesn’t stick to the pan . Finally add 2/3 cup of water and cover with a lid that’s fits well . Cook on a slow fire for approx 45 mins. Keep checking in between and stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t get dry. Add more warm water if the gravy gets more dry. Finally check if the mutton is well cooked and add the Garam masala and chopped coriander.

Serve hot with plain rice or Jeera ( cumin ) rice. It is delectable.


Kitchen notes . Cooking on a slow fire imparts a great flavor.

If the meat is tough, just add ground raw papaya paste to the marinated meat just couple of hours before cooking. If the raw papaya is not available use ripe papaya skin paste. It is a great natural meat tenderizer


Mallugirl said...

what a sumptuous looking curry. u could try baking in an oven for the slow cooked result. It works well with mutton. Will surely try ur recipe. Mutton is a big fav in my house.

Asha said...

Beautiful curry, looks so good.Wish I would get Mutton, which is lot better than Lamb. Good one. We call it "Mamsa" in Kannada, means meat!:))

sowmya said...

An award waiting for you in my blog!!Glad to pass it to you.

notyet100 said...

feel lik tryin...but nogoat meat here..:-(deliciou recip

Cham said...

What a gorgeous Mutton in kadai! u make me feel hungry early morning! Drooling.....

Happy cook said...

Wow that muttom curry looks so delicious.
I love muttom, but here it is difficult to get.
Yummy dish.

Srivalli said...

pictures look great!..nice presentation!

Sujatha said...

the picture is mouth-watering! I am ready to eat your mutton curry right now :) First time to your blog.. you have great recipes..

Maheswari said...

Delicious perfect looking curry.Loved the platter.That tip about using papaya is helpful.

Sia said...

Times have changed, places have changed and we have traded a lot to be what we are today and yet something’s never change.
how true... and the way u have served that mutton curry is simply amazing:)

delhibelle said...

Beautifully written post..thanks for sharing fond memories

Kevin said...

That mutton curry looks really good! Nice photos!

Andhra Flavors said...

wonderful mutton curry!! and lovely pics too..

Sangeeth said...

very lovely recipe....

ranji said...

lovely dish shibani...but since we dont eat mutton i will prepare this with chicken:)....and also thank u so much for correcting me...i didnt know that :)

vandana rajesh said...

yummy mutton curry..thanks for visiting my blog. Would be glad to have an entry from you for the chicken event.

Mishmash ! said...

That mutton curry is too tempting....the consistency is so perfect,...I wish I could have it for my lunch today :)

meeso said...

Awesome looking curry, the pic is so tempting!!!

Pragyan said...

Hey Shibani: I was wondering what you meant by "our thoughts are so similar"..now I understand :) We have both had similar Sundays in our growing up days, na? Your blog is so cool..If you are ever coming to DC, do let me know and we should catch up in person..:)

What He Is Up To Lately said...

I love the curry dishes on your blog! I'm salivating right now!!! Mutton is definitely my favorite meat in curry dishes. There is a restaurant in my town makes the best mutton/lamb cubes in creamy spinach sauce...yummo! I've looked all over the internet for the recipe to make the dish, but it still came out not quite the same, 1st time was a bit on the watery side, 2nd X, the flavor wasn't quite the same. If you have a recipe for that, that'd be fantastic! Love your blog. Hope all is well in China!

Soma said...

I was just browsing ur blog & came across this mutton curry... really I felt the exact same thing when i was writing for my recent post. My daughter & me ... we love mutton (esp. with the potatoes:-D )... & I cannot believe I did not eat when I was little.. after a trip to the butcher with my dad.