Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Food

My roots are Bengali, but in many ways, I consider myself a South Indian. It’s where I grew up, and my family still lives in Bangalore. Even though I’ve lived away for nearly 2 decades, I still identify strongly with most things South Indian. In particular, the food.

Kerala or Mallu food ranks high on my taste buds, and I’m always game for a good stew with appams, a comforting erissery or a refreshing pachadi.

Here’s the recipe to one of my lick-my-plate-clean favourites: Kerala Mutton Pepper Fry. It’s hot, hearty and full of spicy goodness. I can’t think of a better way to kick off Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Food 🙂


Mutton mixed pieces: 1 kilo

For the meat marinade:

Haldi/Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp

Chilli powder: ½ tsp

Ginger (chopped fine): 1/2 tbsp


Marinate the meat well

Garlic (chopped fine): 1/2 tbsp

Pepper grounds (powdered): 1 tbsp

Garam masala: 1 tsp


Lime: Juice of

Water: 1 cup

For the curry:

Vegetable oil: 2tbsp


Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles

Onions (chopped small): 2 medium

Green chilli (sliced long): 2

Curry patta(leaves): a handful

Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tbsp (fresh ground is better)

Chilli powder: 1 tsp

Haldi/Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp

Dhaniya/Coriander powder: 1 tbsp

Garam masala: 1 tsp


Saute onions, ginger-garlic, curry leaves and chillies

Whole Pepper (roughly ground): 1 tbsp

Salt: To taste

Coconut (sliced fine): 3 tbsp


Wash the mutton throroughly.

Mix all the marinade ingredients into the meat. Coat the mutton pieces throroughly.

Leave to rest for 2 hours (If you can marinate overnight, even better).


Add the powdered masalas

When the meat is marinated, put it into a pressure cooker.

Add a cup of water, or enough to ensure the meat is almost covered.

Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or till meat is cooked and tender (the number of whistles could vary depending on your cooker).

For the curry, pour the oil into a large wok.

Saute the onions till they turn translucent.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes more.

Add the curry leaves and green chillies and saute for another minute.


Add cooked mutton to the masalas and cook well

Add the powdered masalas (turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala and ground pepper) to the onions and mix well.

Let the masalas cook till the oil rises to the top.

To the masala mix, add the cooked mutton. Mix well.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes on an open flame, to give the gravy a chance to reduce. (You may choose to keep more gravy, though traditionally, this is a semi dry dish).

Add the sliced coconut and give the curry a thorough mix.

Garnish with fried coriander leaves and serve hot.

(Mutton Pepper Fry is best enjoyed with malabar paratha or appams.)

Credits: I scoured the internet, and ended up with a mashup of different Mutton Pepper Fry recipes. Sources include: www.mariasmenu.com, www.alittlebitofspice.com and vimmysrecipeworld.com. Their recipes are great as well 🙂

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