Nepali Goat Curry
In this recipe, the meat is marinated in a small amount of yogurt, ginger, garlic, red chile paste, turmeric, salt and clarified butter for up to four hours. It is then cooked with several other herbs and spices. Nepali garam masala or masu ko masala is added at the end of cooking process to retain pleasant aroma. The meat cooks in its own juice with the help of some water. The marinated spices add flavor and tenderness. It is served with rice, puffed-bread, chiura and a selection of chutney and vegetables.
- 3 pounds lean goat meat, (bone-in or boneless - preferably from shoulder or leg), cut into 1 or 1 ½-inch cubes, excess fat removed
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
- 1½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and minced to fine paste (to yield 11/2 tablespoons)
- 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced and mashed to paste (to yield 1 tablespoon)
- whole red dried chile pepper, stemmed, broken into 2 pieces, seeded, soaked in ½ cup hot water until doubled in size, drained and minced to fine paste
- ½ cup unflavored plain yogurt, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoon light oil (any variety)
- 1 pound yellow or white onion, peeled and chopped fine (to yield 4 cups)
- 3-4 medium size vine-ripened red tomato, finely chopped or mashed
- 1 tablespoon cumin, dry-roasted and ground
- 1 ½ tablespoon coriander, dry-roasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, dry-roasted and ground
- ½ cup water and more if needed
- 2 teaspoon Nepali garam masala or masu ko masala
- 1 or 2 bunches of cilantro leaves (fresh coriander), washed well, chopped to yield ½ cup
- 4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, root end discarded and sliced into cubes
- Wash meat pieces thoroughly with cold water. Cut into 1 or a ½ inch pieces. Trim away as much visible fat as possible. Prepare the herb and spices as indicated in the ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine meat, clarified butter, ginger, garlic, chile, yogurt, turmeric and salt. Rub and message well into each piece vigorously by using hand. Cover and allow the meat to marinate up to four hours in room temperature or can be placed in the refrigerator overnight. Bring it back to room temperature before cooking.
- When ready to proceed, heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add Onion and cook until golden brown and until the oil starts separating from the side of the pan. Add tomato and cook until all the moisture has evaporated, stirring frequently. Mix ground cumin, coriander and fennel. Add marinated meat pieces and mix to coat the spices well. Add ½ cup of water and continue cooking covered. When it is boiling, reduce the heat to simmer. Continue cooking until the meat is tender and the sauce is reduced and thickened.
- At this stage of cooking, the oil will start to separate and float on top of the gravy. Add garam masala and stir well. Add more water (2 tablespoons at a time) if the meat is not cooked, continue cooking until the desired tenderness is obtained. The secret to success this recipe is to keep adding small amount of water and let it evaporate before more is added. Remove from heat and adjust salt. When ready to serve, transfer to serving dish, add cilantro and scallions. Serve hot.