Corned Mutton Perattal

This is one of my dad’s absolute favourites. His mum used to make it out of goat. She would dice the meat up into tiny pieces and cook it until it breaks down. It’s quite different from mince, as the meat gets shredded up. A little like meat floss. My mum got the recipe of her and she’s been making it for years.

In Australia we get canned corned mutton. So we use that instead of dicing meat up. You could use lamb or beef if you prefer. I usually keep a few cans in the pantry cupboard. They’re a good meat side-dish when there’s nothing left in the house.

You’ll need:

  • 340g Corned Mutton (1 can)
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 red onion (sliced finely)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Oil
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Fresh Coriander leaves (chopped)

Method:
Heat 1 teaspoon of oil, add cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Once fragrant, add onions, sugar and a pinch of salt. Fry until onion is soft and golden. Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for a minute. Add corned mutton, turmeric and chilli powder. The dish will get quite oily at this stage as the fat from the meat will render down. Keep stirring the meat on a medium heat. The meat will brown and stick slightly to the pan. That’s okay, keep scrapping it off. The burnt bits are important to make the dish dry and crispy.

The meat will turn from light pink to a dark reddish brown. Check for salt, you shouldn’t need much as the canned meat is quite salty. Add more if you need to. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Stir in coriander leaves. Serve with rice or roti. Even better between 2 slices of white bread with a thick spread of butter. Enjoy!

Tip:
This keeps in the fridge for weeks. You can add it to fried rice, or use as a sandwich filling. If you make your own bread rolls, stuff some of this mixture into a ball of dough and you have a nice spicy bun. Goes well with rice and Rasam too.

If you are planning to store it, use an airtight container or a ziplock bag, also remove the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. When you re-heat it, you might need to add a little more lemon juice to zest it up, add some more coriander if you have it handy.

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