Friday, August 18, 2006

Mutton Kaaya koottu


"Ithu Erachi alla!!",(this is not meat!)A 5yr old tiny tot lisped...everybody's attention turned at the sulking face of a cute little boy feebly fingering the curry served,searching for his favourite meat pieces!He had come happily sniffing the fine aroma of cooked meat...but ws disappointed to be served all raw banana pieces!!It was a 'Sraadham Oottu',the ceremonial dinner served on the 16th day of demise of a person...Our 'Kuttiyechi's father had passed away...after a long batttle with death...and death came here as a welcome guest, for both the dead and the alive...Kuttiyechi,a very caring,sweet woman who took care of us as kids when we were at
  • Beypore
  • ,a small coastal village in Malabar with a lot of history, which has even changed the destiny of India.Kuttiyechi came as Malayalam tuition teacher for my brother whose tongue she twisted enough to correct his 'malayala malorama' and 'puruthoshaman mash'!!Very soon she won everybody's heart and became our 'kuttiyechi'!! Kuttiyechi came running to the sulking 'malorama' boy, and got the food server serve the tiny tot some good chunks of mutton!! That was my first encounter too with Mutton Kaaya Koottu.It came as a surprise to my parents that nonveg was served on such an occasion.... and even more surprising was the muttoncurry with raw banana!! But then we were told that it was the tradition in the community.Decades have passed... and here I am, blogging about it!

    I dont know the exact roots of this Malabar style of cooking raw banana with meat,poultry and sea food like shrimps....Could it be the Moghul influence or the Parsi influence? Mutton Kaayakoottu too tasted something like
  • Mutton Ghoshth
  • or Mutton dhansak.Well,if you ask me is it superior or inferior to the conventional Mutton curry, I would say that it is is different,like
  • the MuttonIshtu
  • ...So here goes the recipe for this different style of cooking mutton with raw banana...

    Mutton-250g(cut into medium size pieces)
    Raw banana -2(chopped into medium size pieces)
    Tomato-1 medium(cut into pieces)
    Green chilies- 5(pounded)
    Red chili powder-1 tsp
    Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
    Fennel Seed-3/4tsp
    Grated Coconut -3tbsp
    Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
    Indian Shallots- 7(cut into pieces)
    Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
    Oil-as rqd
    Salt-as rqd
    Water-as rqd

    Clean the Mutton pieces.Marinate it with 1/2tsp chillipowder,turmeric powder and salt for 10 minutes.Now pressure cook mutton with cut raw banana pieces,remaining chilli powder and green chillies,adding sufficient water for about 7-8 minutes, till mutton is cooked and the raw bananas become soggy.Meanwhile grind together fresh grated coconut,fennel powder,and turmeric powder into a fine paste.Now add the ground paste, and chopped tomato to the cooked mutton and add salt, if required.You may add a little water if u want a thinner consistency.Let it cook further for 4-5 minutes.Now prepare the seasoning.Heat oil in a small wok.Add mustard seeds,chopped shallots and curry leaves.Fry them till u get the fine aroma of shallots.(say 2 minutes)(Preferably Indian shallots, for, the other shallots available do not really match the taste,but u can always compromise with half an onion, if shallots are not available). Now pour this seasoning over the cooked mutton and mix well.Serve it hot with steamed rice or chappathi and a spicy mutton/chicken fry!But I feel it goes best with chappathi...that is what my husband says too!(I add a little coriander leaves too finally for the fine flavour,but it is not added traditionally).

    I just thought I will add a snap of Indian shallots, for I found several people asking as to what Indian shallots this snap is for the uninitiated!!

    Indian Shallots


    RP said...

    So that's how it looks like!! I saw this recipe in my Malabar cookbook, and thought cooking mutton with planatain is weird. Looks yummy in your picture.

    Shaheen said...

    i haven't had this one, just heard stories abt it from my mom.. good thing u tried it.
    now i feel like trying it.

    indianadoc said...

    >RP, Had I not been exposed to this kind of a combo earlier,I too would have said that it is a weird combination!!As I said in the post, it is different,nothing less nor can try it if u r open to experiments!! ;)
    >Shaheen,for kozhikkodans it is nothing new...but still it is indeed a strange on earth did we get this idea...a kind of Mutton Erissery,so to speak!!