Last Friday my youngest said “mom, you haven’t made mutton curry in a while”
I don’t know the difference between lamb/goat/mutton etc. All I know is one of it stinks when you cook and being a vegetarian, I find it very hard to cook it. But my youngest is very fond of mutton curry. So I bought lamb, keeping my fingers crossed that it isn’t the stinking kind.
Usually, I cook it in Kolhapuri sauce to mask the smell and my child asked if I could cook it some other way as she is tired of eating the same curry.
Hos hard can it be to find another recipe?
I have been collecting recipe clippings since I was 14. So I thought I might as well go through my collection of recipes.
I went through the recipe clippings from Vanitha, manorama etc first. I turned each of them to read the half story of something or other. Then I went through my collection of recipes from Femina and women’s era magazines. There is even a collection of recipes using custard powder.
My mom taught me to make ice cream with custard powder when I was 12. I had to boil the milk in an aluminium pot. The pot probably was as old as me and had a tiny hole at the bottom. You could hear the milk hissing when it reached the flame every now and then. I even tried to time it to see if there was a particular frequency..
I was warned in advance to watch and stir the milk often so that it won’t boil over. It was such a huge undertaking and I felt so grown up ! Then once the milk was boiling, I had to reduce the heat, dissolve the custard powder in water and strain it in to the hot milk. This straining part was very important as there were tiny worms in the custard powder !
Amma used to buy the custard powder from the cooperative shop in Kottayam and sometimes, they sold pink custard powder. And I used to wait for Amma to make pink ice cream.
I couldn’t find any decent recipes for mutton curry, so I started going through the handwritten ones. These were the recipes that I collected from my friends and family and even strangers. The first one was Jameela’s chicken curry. I was travelling through Kerala with my sister and her Scandinavian husband. The hungrier he is, the quieter he gets and he resembles a puffer fish, all puffed up..He was already fully inflated by the time we found a place to eat in Cochin..It was near the Bolgatti palace and my sister told the waiter to bring any food that is ready right now and then we will order the rest. He brought the spicy chicken fry, the shop speciality ! I have never seen someone who can change from a crabby annoying self to a kind and gentle giant in an instant. But it happened. My brother in law was so happy, he asked for another serve and another and another..
I had to get the recipe. jameela was the cook and she gave me the recipe.
And as I went through the rest of the recipes, I found a mutton curry recipe.
It was from a restaurant in Hyderabad.
Beautiful eyes and I were in Hyderabad looking for Raymond’s tomb. It was the first time we travelled such a long distance and I was worried of getting caught. Ideally if a girl and boy decided to travel together and visit places, it shouldn’t be a crime. But in India it was.( probably still is) And eventually my stress level was too high that we ended up fighting. I am not sure why we fought. But we did and we weren’t talking. And for lunch he stopped at some restaurant. He ordered food without asking me what I wanted to eat because we were still not talking. I don’t remember what I ate. But I know what he ate. He had mutton curry with naan. He practically licked the plate clean. When the waiter came with the bill, he told the waiter, that was the best mutton curry he ever ate and I asked the waiter if I could get the recipe. I am not sure who was more shocked.. the waiter or he. But it was a moment we both knew how much we loved each other.
How much I was loved..
How much I miss him.