Malabar Venison Curry

I spent many years as a child eating Keralan food at a friend’s house. Then many years later, I spent two years in Kozhikode and I just loved the local food there. The biryanis, the fish, even the shawarmas (with the ‘gelf‘ influence prominent) were amazing. So when I came across this little treasure called the Malabar Muslim Cookery book, I simbly had to pick it up. This recipe is based on one of the three mutton curry recipes in the book. Each is subtly different from the others, either in the method of preparation or ingredients. And, of course, I’ve made this with venison, but it would be great with some mutton or goat pieces (with the bone in).


  • 250g mutton (500g if not using potatoes)
  • 1 cup coconut, grated
  • 1 tsp aniseed
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 green chillies, sliced
  • 4cm ginger, paste or chopped fine
  • 3 large cloves garlic, paste or crushed
  • 1.5 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Kerala Garam Masala (see recipe here)
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 cloves
  • 4cm piece of cinnamon
  • 1/2 bunch coriander leaves
  • Curry leaves, a few sprigs
  • 2 tbsp ghee or oil
  • Salt, to taste


  • Clean and cut the mutton into bite size pieces. If not using potatoes, then double the quantity of mutton.
  • Roast the grated coconut, aniseed and a little turmeric in 1 tsp oil to a golden brown. grind this to a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Add the onions, chillies, ginger & garlic paste, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt to the mutton and mix well.
  • Heat the ghee and add the whole spices and curry leaves.
  • Add the mutton and fry until the masala is lightly browned. Add enough water to cook the mutton. Add the potatoes and tomatoes and cook until the mutton is soft.
  • Mix the ground coconut with a little water and add to the curry.
  • Add the coriander leaves, simmer for a few minutes then remove from the heat.



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