This recipe is the first proper dish that I learned to make and was taught to me by my grandmother. It’s hearty and light on the tummy all at once, making it the perfect comfort food for a cold evening or for when you’re just recovering from the flu.
Recipe: Mint & Mutton Stew
- Ideally a Pressure Cooker, or a heavy bottomed pot with a lid instead
- A Pepper grinder/ a Mortar and Pestle
- A food processor / blender
- 4 tbs Oil – any flavourless oil (vegetable / sunflower)
- 1 kilogram Mutton (Goat Meat) – use a of mix of bone-in mutton and boneless chunks
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Ginger – finely chopped / crushed
- 1 tsp Garlic – finely chopped / crushed
- 3 Red Onions – chopped (2 for the stew and 1 for the minty enhancer)
- 3 Large Tomatoes – roughly chopped
- 12 Pepper Corns – ground to a course powder
- 2 – 3 Green Chilies – slit
- 1 cup Coriander leaves – roughly chopped
- 3.5 cups Water – recently boiled
- 2 Potatoes – chopped into large chunks
- 2 Carrots – chopped into 2-inch-long chunks
- 1 Small Cauliflower – cut into large florets
- 0.5 Cup Green peas
- 1 tbs Ghee
- 2 pods Cardamom
- 1.5 inch-long-piece Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Mint
- Salt – to taste
- Wash and drain the mutton well. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a heavy bottomed pot or pressure cooker. Add few chunks of mutton at a time. Sear them on each side for about 60 – 90 seconds until they are well browned1 and then transfer them to a plate to rest.
- Heat another 2 tbs of oil in the same pot and sauté crushed ginger and garlic until lightly browned. Add 2 chopped onions and continue to sauté for about 5 – 6 minutes on a low to medium heat, until they are nice and golden
- Add chopped tomatoes and slit green chilies2 to the pot, along with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over a low-medium flame for 2 – 3 minutes until the tomatoes have softened.
- Next, add the seared mutton back into the pot, followed by the freshly ground pepper3. Stir well until the meat is well coated with the onion – tomato mixture.
- Add chopped coriander and 3.5 cups of recently boiled water to the pot. Cover and cook until the meat is tender. If you are using a pressure cooker, this should take about 20 minutes.
- Prepare your vegetables while the meat is cooking. Cut the carrots, cauliflower and potatoes into large chunks4. Once the meat is cooked, tip the vegetables into the pot, cover and allow to cook on a medium flame until the vegetables are soft.
- The Minty enhancer5: While your veggies stew, heat a couple of tablespoons of ghee to a small pan. When hot, add the whole spices (bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves), and sauté for 10 seconds. Now add 1 chopped onion to the ghee and sauté on low flame until shiny and translucent. Turn the heat off and add a cup of well washed mint leaves to the pan. Stir well to let the mint leaves wilt with the residual heat. Remove the bay leaves and add them directly into the stew. Cool and grind the rest of the mixture to a coarse paste.
- Once you are confident that the veggies are well cooked, add the coarsely ground mint and onion paste to the stew, stir well and simmer for another 5 – 6 minutes. Serve hot, over rice or with bread.
1 Sear the mutton in batches of 4 -5 pieces at a time, so that they have enough room to sear; if crowded, they will begin to release moisture and not brown properly. Here is a before and after picture of the meat to illustrate the change in colour that you should look to achieve.
2You can choose to skip the green chilies altogether if you prefer, or de-seed them before using. Use them with seeds-in only if you enjoy spicy food, because the recipe also uses a good bit of black pepper.
3Fresh, coarsely ground pepper makes all the difference to this stew! Do not used packaged pepper powder or powder that you’ve ground a while ago and stored; it will not impart the same heat or fragrance as freshly ground.
4Make sure to chop the vegetables into uniform sized chunks. You can also use turnips or any other vegetable that absorbs the flavor of meat well! When adding them to the stew begin with the veggies that take a little longer to cook, like potatoes and turnips, add the carrots and cauliflower about 5 – 7 minutes after and the green peas once the carrots are nearly cooked.
5Here are your ingredients for the mint paste, and here’s what the mint should look like once its wilted in the pan. My apologies for the blurry picture! The steam fogged by my camera lens.
I hope you enjoy this old family favorite! Let me know in the comments, if you need any additional instructions. 🖖
so glad it helped! Ginger and orange work really well together 🙂
Love this recipe. I’m making a butternut squash soup tonight with orange juice. I was thinking of adding ginger and…