Thursday, September 1, 2016

Madras Meat Curry : Cookbook Countdown #9

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 

To link to Cookbook Countdown Specials : BAKE, click here
To link to Cookbook Countdown #9, click here


My selected cookbook for this month, 

I love Indian cuisines. The recipes that I have been trying are mostly from Madhur Jaffrey's books, one of my favourite chef. She has some seriously good curries and some has become my family's favourite. The next Indian cookbook that I used the most is this book, 500 Curries by Consultant Editor, Mridula Baljekar. A quite number of recipes that I have made from this book are winners. I have about a dozen or so, of Indian cuisine cookbooks, and I will be trying out from other books as well, but for now, I've decided to use this book, for this month's Cookbook Countdown, as there are many more recipes which I have been wanting to try for ages. This is quite a large book, with curry recipes from India, Thailand, South-East Asia, Africa, Middle East  and the Caribbean. There's side dishes, rice, breads, vegetarian, chutneys, pickles, salad and appetizers. 

One of the recipes which I have been wanting to make for ages is Madras Meat Curry. I especially love meat curries. For this recipe, goat or mutton is the traditional choice, though lamb on the bone can be used. But I have used pork shoulder meat instead.

The meat pieces are first marinated for a few hours with vinegar, turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, tomato puree and salt. Then put the meat in a  heavy pan with some water, bring to a simmer cover and cook until the water evaporates, stirring a few times in between. I cooked the meat for only 30 minutes, still with some gravy left, and proceed with the recipe below. Meanwhile, prepare the spices.

Toast in a small heavy pan, the peppercorns, coriander, cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds, with the curry leaves, until fragrant, then add in the coconut. Stir-fry until the coconut is lightly browned, remove from heat, transfer to a plate and allow to cool.

Grind the spice mixture until fine.

Heat some oil in a large saucepan, add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Stir for 30 seconds and add the onion, stir until brown. Add the ground spice mixture, stir for a minute and add in the cooked meat. Add some water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. I have however, simmer for about an hour since I've only cooked the meat for 30 minutes at the initial step. 

There are a little extra step or two in making this recipe, like precooking the meat first, toasting of the spices, then grind to a powder, but it is really an easy recipe to follow. The end result is a delicious meat curry, with tender meat, full of flavour from all the spice ingredients. We had it with pilaf rice, a potato dish and raita which I will share in the coming posts. The gravy alone is delicious over rice. This dish definitely worth a repeat! 

Madras Meat Curry
(adapted from "Curries 500", by Mridula Baljekar)
Serves 4
675gm boned leg of lamb, fat trimmed and cut into 1 in cubes (I use pork meat)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp garlic puree
2 tsp ginger puree
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato puree (paste)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
20 curry leaves
1/3 cup dessicated (dry unsweetened shredded) coconut
4 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
1 in piece of cinnamon stick, halved
2 black cardamom pods
4 cloves
1 large onion, finely chopped

  1. Put the meat in a non-metallic bowl and add the vinegar, turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, tomato puree and salt. Mix thoroughly, cover the bowl and marinate for 4-5 hours.
  2. Put the marinated meat into a heavy pan and add 2/3 cup water, bring it to a slow simmer, cover and cook until the water evaporates. Stir several times during cooking so that the meat does not stick to the bottom of the pan. (I cooked for about 30 minutes).
  3. Preheat a small heavy pan over a medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the peppercorns, coriander, cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds, and the curry leaves. Stir until the spices release their aroma, then add the coconut. Stir-fry until the coconut is lightly browned. Remove the spices from the pan and cool, then grind them until they are a very fine texture.
  4. Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Leave to sizzle for 30 seconds, add the onion and brown. Add the ground ingredients and stir for 1 minute, then add the cooked meat. Add 2/3 cup warm water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. (I cooked for about an hour, stir a few times and make sure it does not dry out, adding some water if necessary). Take off the heat and adjust the consistency with a little water. Serve immediately.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #9 hosted by 


  1. Hi Joyce, my hubby bought this cookbook for me yet to try as I'm not confident that the curry recipes will suit our tastebuds. This curry looks good.

  2. Looks good! I have some lamb shoulder in the freezer!

  3. Looks yummm... i love lamb. Should give it a try. Have a nice week end.

  4. Joyce, you know I love Indian food too! So this curry of yours is really, really making me crave for some curry and lots of rice! Must cook curry on cheat day :)

  5. I LOVE curries. And have since I was about 10 years old. Unusual at the time for an American Girl. This one looks delicious.