1. Wash mutton with some turmeric five times and strain.
2. Rub mutton well with a mixture of turmeric powder, fennel seeds, garlic cloves with skin on, coconut slices, onion slices, curry leaves and salt to taste. Leave meat to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. To an earthenware pot add the mutton with marination juices (don’t add extra water) and bring to boil. When the mutton releases its juices add water, cover with a lid and continue cooking (alternatively you can cook the meat in pressure cooker without any water, about two-three whistles).
4. In a heavy kadai/pan heat coconut oil, add onions, shallots, chillies and ginger and sauté till transparent. When the onion mixture has almost dried and the mutton is almost cooked, add the masala powder to the onion mixture and roast on a low flame. After 5 minutes of roasting the masala will release a mouthwatering aroma.
5. Strain the stock that the mutton is cooking in and mix with the onion and masala mix until it achieves a thick paste-like consistency. To this watery paste, add the boiled mutton and coconut pieces, slow roast and keep stirring till it reduces to a thick sauce and coats the meat well. Add curry leaves and check the seasoning.
6. Once the meat and masala has fully incorporated and the sauce has reduced to a dry paste, serve this deliciously flavoursome dish with parotta, rice or kappa (tapioca).
7. For a comforting meal during the rains, mutton roast is great served with more kachiathu (spiced buttermilk), beans thoran (stir-fried beans in coconut) and boiled rice.
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