This Chettinad mutton pepper fry ( செட்டிநாடு ஆட்டிறைச்சி சுக்கா மிளகு வறுவல்) is a very tasty dish that goes well with rice, idli, dosa and roti. Here is a recipe that requires very little oil and yet tastes heavenly.
Sauf / fennel seeds
Black pepper (grind fresh – coarse texture)
Curry leaves (Don’t skip as curry leaves and chettinad dishes are inseparable)
Coriander leaves (cilantro)
Grind mint leaves and half the amount of coriander leaves to form a paste.
Ginger and garlic – Peel, wash and grind into a paste (freshly made paste is preferable)
Heat oil in a kadai and fry the spices one by one – Saunf, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Star Anise, Cumin seeds. Next add the curry leaves and stir fry for a few minutes.
Add ginger garlic paste.
Add chili powder, turmeric and half the amount of salt. Add mint and coriander paste.
How to quickly cook Mutton / goat meat
Cooking red meat can sometimes be a pain as they take longer to cook when compared to fish or chicken. Most often we cook mutton for a few whistles and then open to find that it is still not cooked well and is rubbery. This is a neat trick that I learnt from my mom’s neighbor and this trick has helped me cook mutton very fast.
We will cook mutton ….. just the mutton without any spices or oil or water. Surprised?
Yes no water also. Mutton itself will have water and we will be cooking the mutton in that water that will ooze out of it. This is especially useful when we make chukka (/dry) fry. There won’t be any need to reduce the gravy. First let us wash it.
Washing goat meat:
Wash mutton in water that has been used to wash rice. This will remove the blood smell from meat. After rinsing, gently squeeze out the water and add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix so that the turmeric coats all the pieces and after 5 minutes, wash again with water. Turmeric will delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and it will prevent plaques from blocking our blood vessels. Don’t forget to add turmeric and pepper for all your meat dishes.
Now the meat is ready to be cooked. Gently squeeze out the water from the meat. Place cooker (no oil) on stove with medium flame. Add the meat pieces and turmeric powder and half the amount of salt and gently stir fry it. You will see water oozing out. If you think that the water is reducing faster than it is oozing out, reduce the flame.
Within a couple of minutes, you will see more and more water oozing out.
Tada! In 3 minutes, you will see enough water to cook the mutton.
Don’t worry. Go ahead and close the cooker lid and allow it cook for 4 to 5 whistles. You can increase the heat at this point.
In the following picture, you can see oil and water that has oozed out of the meat. The meat cooked in its own water and oil.
Add the onion, tomatoe and spices masala that we fried in the pan.
Close cooker again and allow it to cook for few more minutes (2 -3 whistles). Again no water and no oil. Mutton gravy is ready.
But we want it to get drier. So stir fry for a few minutes in the cooker itself or transfer it to a pan and stir fry. The only oil used in this recipe is when we stir fried the spices and onions.
Just before removing from the flame, add coarsely ground pepper, mix and immediately remove from the flame. Don’t cook pepper for too long. This is important or else the dish will not have fresh flavor of pepper which is the trademark of Chettinad dishes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy tasty mutton pepper fry that was cooked with the least possible amount of oil and water.