Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Oriental Club’s 19th Century Mutton Curry

The Oriental Club’s 19th Century Mutton Curry

In the mid-19th century, the British obsession with Indian curries and culture really started to take off.  Curries were being made in one particular London gentleman’s club called the Oriental Club. The club catered for high society – the Duke of Wellington was the President and all the chairmen seem to have been Sirs, Lords, Major-Generals or Vice-Admirals.  The Club was obviously a popular one; it opened in 1825 and in 1961 it moved from Hanover Square to Stratford House on Stratford Square, where it remains to this day. In its hey-day, Chef Richard Terry was at the helm in the kitchen, who took full advantage of the first Asian grocery warehouse. His recipes were ‘not only from his own knowledge of cookery, but from Native Cooks’ too. He published a book called Indian Cookery in 1861.
Information source
British Food History

The recipe below is adapted from the Indian Cookery and some changes have been made according to my requirements.

To make the curry, you need to make a blend of curry powder and curry paste first.

Richard Terry’s 19th Century British Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander seed
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Pepper corn
½ tsp Cumin seeds
2 Cardamom
2 Cloves
1/4 tsp Ginger powder

Roast the whole spices over a medium-high heat in a frying pan. Cool the spices and add the powder spices and then grind it. Store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Sir Ranald Martin’s British Curry Paste
2 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp Yellow split peas / Chana dal
1 tsp Peppercorns
1 ½ tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp ginger paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp Jaggary
1 tbsp Garlic paste
1 tbsp Vinegar
1 tbsp Oil

Dry-roast the whole spices and lentils in a frying pan until they turn light brown in colour. Remove from the heat, cool and grind the spices. Add the remaining ingredients except for the oil and stir well. Heat the oil in a frying pan and when hot, add the spice mixture and fry until the paste turns darker. Cool, store in a jar and keep it in the refrigerator.

The Oriental Club’s 19th Century Mutton Curry
750 grams Mutton pieces
2 tbsp 19th Century British Curry Powder
2 tbsp 19th Century British Curry Paste
2 medium size Onion finely sliced
2 tbsp Oil
2 large Potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pot. Add the onions and fry until the onions have browned and is crisp. Add the paste and powder, stirring well for a few seconds. Now add the meat and  salt, stir, cover and cook on a low flame. Gently fry for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 4 cups of water and let it boil on high flame and then  simmer on low flame till the mutton is half done. Add the potatoes,  cover and simmer very gently until the meat is tender. Serve with hot rice.

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