Railway mutton curry takes you back to the colonial era when travelling by first class train was for the privileged. This not too spicy mutton dish used to be served in the railway refreshment room and long distance train to cater the British palate. This curry was generally served with bread or dinner rolls. The vinegar used in the curry used to extend the shelf life for the long haul train rides.
There are many variants of this recipe which clearly indicates the train route they were served on. The usage of tamarind and curry leaves are tell-tale sign of Southern Railways. Eastern recipes omitted these. I chose the one which is more close to my choices.
- 1lb. goat meat cut into medium pieces
- 2 medium onions finely chopped
- 3 potatoes peeled and cut into halves ( I used 5 whole baby potatoes )
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1” ginger finely minced
- 1/2 tsp. dry roasted whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. dry roasted whole coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2tbsp. vinegar (Original recipe suggests half a cup of tamarind juice)
- 5-6tbsp. oil
- 1tsp. sugar(This one is added by me. The original one doesn’t have sugar )
- 1” cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 4 black peppercorn
- 5-6 curry leaves ( I didn’t use )
- 2 dry red chilies broken into pieces
Take half oil in a pan and temper with the ingredients listed under tempering. Let them sizzle and add whole garlic cloves, chopped onion and mince ginger to it. Fry on medium heat till they turn golden brown.
In a grinder take all the fried spices along with roasted whole coriander and cumin seeds and grind them to a fine paste by using little water.
In a mixing bowl take mutton and mix it with the ground spices. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
In a pressure cooker take the rest of the oil and fry the potatoes on medium heat till they take a light yellow hue. Remove and reserve for later use.
Add the marinated mutton pieces to the oil and fry on high heat for 5 minutes. Add vinegar or tamarind juice to it and season it with salt and sugar. Pour sufficient warm water and pressure cook it till 1 whistle on high heat. Turn off the heat and let the pressure release on its own. Now throw the fried potato pieces to the gravy and give a nice mix. Do the rest of the cooking covered but without the pressure on low heat till the meat is tender and the potatoes are done.
Serve with rice or bread.