Mutton Curry from Sri Lanka is infused with pandan, the vanilla like tasting green herb from South/Southeast Asia.
Here in NYC, lamb and goat meat are pretty easy to come by, especially in communities where there are large Caribbean populations as goat curry and goat head soup are very common Caribbean foods. However, mutton is harder to come by. Then a few months ago I discovered the Brooklyn Terminal Market and located only 20 minutes from my house. Drive down an alley and on both sides of the road are two huge markets that sell both wholesale and retail. Apparently, this is where many African and Caribbean restaurants get their supplies. The variety of Caribbean and African products were such a treat to discover. Every type of fufu grain you can possibly imagine. Instant mixes for things we eat in the Caribbean like peanut porridge. Also, lots of British products because many African and Caribbean countries were colonized by the British so these over the counter products are common like Horlick’s.
However, the best discovery was the meat counter. Since they supply restaurants, the turnover is very rapid so you know the meat is not sitting there for long. I have never before seen such clean and fresh looking meat of every variety – lamb, goat, and mutton. This is my new place to purchase my meat – even basics like chicken and they also have a fabulous fish and seafood collection.
In the past, any Indian recipe I always used lamb or goat although mutton is much more commonly used in Indian recipes. So do you know the difference? Even I get confused sometimes. Lamb is actually a young sheep and the older sheep in meat form is called mutton. Goat is a completely different animal that has hair instead of fur.
Now on to today’s delicious Mutton Curry that was part of my Sri Lankan Thali.
Sri Lankan Thali
- Mutton Curry
- Coconut Milk Dal
- Boonchi Curry (Green Bean Curry)
- Tuna Kroket
- Coconut Sambol
- Turmeric Rice
- Savboro (Sago Coconut Cookies)
This curry is infused with pandan, known as rampe in Sri Lanka. Pandan are the leaves of the screwpine tree with the flavor of vanilla. Here in the US you will generally find it in the frozen section of Asian markets, sometimes sold under the name Bai Toey.