Shanks or Nalli is one of my favourite parts of both the lamb or goat. Chettinad cuisine is know for its hit of raw spices and pepper and their use of curry leaves which imparts a beautiful spicy flavor to the dish.
Yield / Serves
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Mutton - Half kg shanks (you can scale up).
Garlic - Peeled garlic pods, about 8-9 (the more the merrier but 15 is good)
Green Chillies - About 10, slit, again the more the merrier. I like it HOT
Curry Leaves - A forest of it works.. We need a lot. Put the twigs in too, thats where the real flavor is
Mutton fat or regular oil - Fat enhances the flavor better of course.. About 3 tbps
Coarsely Crushed pepper corns - The more the merrier. The whole dish is dependent on the heat of the pepper corns. About 5-6 tablespoons
Take a 2 litre pressure cooker and add about 2 cups of water. Put the mutton shanks in, add a little salt and blast it for about 7-8 whistles on high and 2-3 in low. I retain the broth for other uses or simply add spices and have a shot.
Separate the pieces from the liquid slowly. Those pieces are almost falling apart.
Take a kadai (a chinese wok works best though) and put in the mutton fat pieces and render it till you get about 3 tablespoons of oil. You can remove and reuse the rest.
Heat it and then add the garlic pods, onions, green chillies and the curry leaves. Add pepper and salt as suited and fry it till you get this rich aromas of the mixed ingredients. Add the mutton shanks and slowly start incorporating it in this.
The meat is so tender, the marrow bone is literally separate from the meat at this stage so do it slowly with patience. Now gradually add about 1 cup of the stock into this, all the while stirring. Keep stirring till it has almost dried out
The stock intensifies the flavor to another level, much like in pullao. Dont be afraid to use it.
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