Menthemkura mamsam (Methi Mutton)
This was from my first ‘cooking class’ for about sixteen people, and the meat was pretty much demolished by the end! Adjust the amounts for a more modest sized dish.
4 kilos, leg of mutton diced (ideally with the bones separated first and then cut into marrow bone sized pieces)
Two or three large onions
Ginger garlic paste (about three tablespoons) or 4 inch piece of fresh ginger and one medium head of garlic all chopped fine.
Two bunches of methi leaves (remove main stalks and wash)
Cinnamon sticks (about 8 inches broken into two inch pieces)
15 Cardomom pods and 15 Cloves (bashed up in mortar and pestle)
Shajeera (Black cumin) – about three teaspoons
Green chillies – about 5 or 6 – to taste, chopped fine
About eight large tomatoes, chopped, or two medium cans of chopped tomato
Sunflower oil (about 5 or 6 tablespoons)
Turmeric – one teaspoon
Marinate the meat in the ginger garlic paste Put large kadai on fire, when dry, add the oil, when it is hot (but not smoky) add the shajeera (it should crackle), then the cinnamon sticks, the bashed up cardamom and cloves. After a minute at most, add the onions, let them cook slowly on medium heat until the onions are translucent, not browned. The add the turmeric stir in for half a minute. Then add the meat, turn the heat right up and do your best to coat all the pieces turning regularly – for this amount it will probably take a good half an hour. Then put as tight fitting a lid as you can on it (upside stainless steel plate will do, I am sure you have one of these lurking in a cupboard somewhere!) turn heat to medium and cook – perhaps checking and turning every twenty minutes – for maybe two hours or so. When meat fairly tender, add the methi leaves, stir around and fry without lid for maybe ten minutes. Then add the salt, the tomatoes, mix well, put the lid back on and cook for another half an hour (ish).
And voila! You’re done.