Spicy Goat Curry

Recipes

As a huge fan of food from the Indian subcontinent, spice, and goats, it makes sense that I would eventually learn how to make a goat curry.

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If you’ve never had it before, think: gamey, rich, greasy, spicy and intensely flavoursome. Various cuts of mutton, ranging from ribs, to shank, to chops, stewed together until the meat falls off the bone and the connective tissue turns soft and gelatinous in a vat of aromatics, spices and ghee. Best eaten with your fingers¬†and a heaping pile of warm naan.

The following recipe is a combination of a few recipes that I had used before, with a few modifications to keep things interesting.

Oh, and to ensure the flavors are all there, I invited a few friends over for a test batch to make sure the taste stayed authentic.


INGREDIENTS

Feeds 10

Takes 3-4 hours

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You’ll need these things.

  • 6 pounds of mutton chunks (preferably all cuts of the goat)
  • 5 medium red onions
  • 4 inches ginger root (minced)
  • 3 heads garlic (minced)
  • 1 liter plain, whole-fat yogurt
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground cardamom
  • 2.5 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons red pepper (I used korean red pepper flakes for some dry heat)
  • 1.5 tablespoons ground szechuan peppercorns (trust me, adds a faint tingling spiciness, enhances the heat from the chilies)
  • 10 de-seeded red chilies (adjust for your own spice tolerance, include seeds for extra kick)
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (plus extra for marinade)
  • 6 cups water (or stock if you want to be extra fancy)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed into slurry)
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh coriander

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Marinate mutton chunks in 2 teaspoons of coriander, turmeric, cumin and chili flakes with enough oil to lightly coat the meat. This could be done overnight, but an hour should suffice.
  2. Food process (or finely chop, if you’re some sort of masochist) 5 onions. We want a rough, paste-like consistency.
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Before

  1. Finely chop (or food-process) ginger and garlic to a paste.
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This should do.

  1. De-seed and finely chop chilli peppers.
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Like so.

  1. Add remaining oil to heavy pot over medium heat, add all remaining dried spices. This allows the oils in the spice to diffuse into the vegetable oil and makes things a bit more fragrant. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until you see a slight change in color and increase in aroma.
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I didn’t heat the oil enough ūüė¶

  1. Add onions, garlic, ginger and hot peppers, fry out until onions are translucent and begin to take on a very light brown tint.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes and cook out for 3-4 minutes, this takes away the astringency of the raw tomatoes.
  3. Add 6 cups of water, bring to boil.
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Trust me it gets more appetising.

  1. Add all of the mutton. I know what everyone is thinking. “Oh no, he didn’t sear the goat, where’s the¬†maillard reaction, where’s the flavor??”. Just stop. If you would like, feel free to sear off 6 pounds of fucking goat meat. While you’re at it, you can have your friends¬†pick up some polysporin for your numerous grease burns and a lifetime supply of fabreeze to get rid of the goat stink covering literally everything you own.
    1. But seriously,the bone-in cuts of mutton, combined with the volume and intensity of the aromatics and spices provide enough flavor. The searing would be a marginal improvement for a whole bunch of extra effort and pain.
  2. Stew for 1.5 hours on low-medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
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Getting better.

  1. Add yogurt, ghee and cornstarch slurry, continue to stew for roughly an hour and a half.
    1. At this point, the curry is done and the remaining cooking time is completely up to you. Personally, I like a thicker, sauce-like consistency and prefer to boil the curry down until it’s almost a paste. Others prefer soupier curries (perhaps served over rice).
  2. Salt and pepper to taste.
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Note how the oil separates. Roughly 1 hour from completion.

  1. Serve with warm naan and chopped coriander.
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The lighting was off, OK?

  1. Stuff your fucking face.
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!!!


RANDOM TIPS

I like my curry with naan, and I’m way too lazy to make my own, so to recreate restaurant-quality naan, just brush some water and ghee on your store-brought stuff and toss it in a 400 degree oven for a minute and a half.

Like anything stewed, the flavors intensify the longer you keep it in the fridge (until it goes bad), so this is great for Sunday meal-prep. It microwaves well, but if you’re planning on re-heating over the stove, add a bit of water or stock to keep the consistency.

Shitty cuts of meat are the best for this recipe. Since the meat is stewed for so long, the fat has time to render, and the collagen in the gristle and connective tissue denature into gelatin. I find that the bone-in cuts also provide a thicker and tastier curry as you can stew all the goodness from the bones. Oh, you also get the amazing bits of thigh/shin bone with a perfect, buttery bit of marrow in the middle. Just trust me on this one. Save your lamb chops for something else and get the shitty cuts.

Close all your bedroom doors, close the closets, lay down some scrap paper on the stove/near the counters. This stuff stains like none other and the smell really sticks to fabric.


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“It tastes like my mom’s mutton curry”

:,)

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Chilly Days and Chilli Crab

Recipes

So as of yesterday, winter has officially begun.

Of course, nobody living at my latitude cares much about the ‘official’ start of winter, as it has already been cold and snowing for about a month and a half.

The wind bites at you when you walk outside, and any exposed appendages sting, and then quickly become numb. The sun rises at 9 and sets at roughly 4, leaving precious few hours of daylight.

But as miserable as it¬†may seem, it’s not all bad.

For those of you contemplating your spirituality or practising meditation; try a solitary winter walk.

Bundle up. Find someplace deserted and snow covered, pick a direction and just walk.

With the cold comes an almost preternatural stillness. It’s hard to describe, but with the blue¬†skies and coldly brilliant sun and still air, everything seems.. clean.

Winter Road

Photo Credits – Jens Prenhaw Photography

Quickly, your entire world shrinks to the little bubble of warmth that you carry around yourself. The stinging of the cold gives something tangible for your thoughts to crystallize around, and previously hazy thoughts suddenly become clear.

The cold weather also permits for traditional, greasy and hearty winter recipes, or in my case, spicy things.


CHILLI CRAB

A Singaporean/Malaysian dish dating back to the 50’s, chilli crab is perfect for when you want to spend an hour and a half picking through fiery, saucy bits of carapace and licking your fingers.

Here’s how I make it.

INGREDIENTS

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Hard Mode: Don’t read the list, use the picture as reference for ingredients.

  • 2 large mud crabs (or Dungeness if you don’t live in South-east Asia)
  • 1 egg
  • 5 Thai chilies
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 250 ml tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large onion (or two small ones…)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • half inch of sliced ginger
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp neutral cooking¬†oil
  • Cilantro to garnish

STEPS

1. Roughly chop the onion(s), de-seed chilies, peel garlic and ginger.

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Aromatics in!

2. Toss the onion, chilies, garlic and ginger¬†into the food processor and puree. When you open the lid on the food processor, stick your face/eyes right in there and see how much it burns. If you’re getting tears, it’s probably hot enough. Or you could just taste it, but that’s no fun.

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Sinus-clearing goodness!

3. Slay your crabs and chop each crab into 6-7 bits. Discard the shell and the little frond-like bits. For more depth of flavor, try cracking open the claws/legs so the sauce can seep in. This is very messy, and you will get crab bits everywhere.

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Spared you the gruesome bits.

4. Heat your oil in a wok/deep frying pan and add your puree’d aromatics. Cook for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, or until the the mixture is noticeably drier and takes on a light golden colour.

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“Light golden colour” sounds way better than “sorta yellow”.

5. Add fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Cook down the mixture for an additional 5 minutes to remove the raw tomato taste from the paste/puree.

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Not much to say here.

6. Combine the cornstarch with a quarter cup of water and add to mixture.

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Cocktail sauce consistency

7. Toss in crab and cook, covered for 8-12 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally.

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Sans egg.

8. Right before the crab is cooked, break an egg into the wok and combine to coat the crab. This thickens the sauce and tempers the spice.

9. Roughly chop cilantro and garnish. Rule of thumb: more is better, especially if you can’t handle spice. The cilantro cools down the dish significantly.

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Yessssssssssssssss…

  1. Dig in and make a giant fucking mess.

 

From my experience, this tastes pretty damn authentic. Feel free to tweak the amount of spice/aromatics. Some even prefer ketchup as opposed to tomato paste/puree and sugar.

I prefer my spicy dishes to be nearly-painful, so this may be a bit spicy for non-masochists. Ideally the dish should have people flushed, sweating, inhaling sharply, yet unable to stop eating.

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Nomnomnom

If you have significant experience cooking chilli crab and I’m missing something, please let me know.

I wish everyone Happy Holidays, filled with family, friends, good food and better memories.

See you all next year!