There is a slight chill in the Mumbai air since the past two weeks. It is truly a pleasant change from the humidity and heat that this city is know for. Suddenly instead of complaining about potholes and rain, people are complaining about potholes and the their lack of winter clothing. Even though they know fully well that by the time they go buy said clothing, winter will disappear from Mumbai.
What I like about Mumbai is that when it comes to the food scene, it doesn’t actually matter when a particular season starts. The moment it is November, Parsis will start having Vasanu – doesn’t matter that the temperature is still at 36 degrees. And, the moment it is April we go hunting for Mangoes to make Keri ma Gosht, who cares whether summer has really set in or not?
I am guilty of this behaviour too. I had my first singora, or water chestnuts from the vendor long before there was even a breeze in the air and my daily routine to work now involves stopping at the local vendor below my office to grab fresh saunf (fennel) and some masala peru (chilli guava).
These days many ice-cream shops in India sell a Chili Guava flavoured ice-cream in the winters but I still prefer the real deal mainly because it reminds me of my school days when I used to religiously spend ₹5 of my pocket money on a guava after school every day of December. Last week, while thumbing through an old Parsi cookbook and nibbling on my Peru, I came across a recipe called Guava ni Curry. My first instinct was ewww.
Who wants to put fruit in their main course? Sure, Masterchef has taught me that pork and apples do go well together, but guava? Really?
However, my curiosity was piqued. Here was a Parsi main dish that was inherently vegetarian and did not feature potato or egg. Always worth a try in my books. Yes, I did end up adding mutton to it eventually but vegetarians you can make this knowing that this curry was once-upon-a-time made just for you.
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 0.5 tbsp coriander seeds
- 0.5 stick of cinnamon
- 2 cloves
For the Curry
- 2 tsp salt
- 400 gram mutton
- 1 tbsp oil
- 0.5 onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 semi ripe guava
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 0.5 lemon, juiced
- Grind together all the ingredients for the masala paste using as little water as possible
- Marinate the mutton in salt and set aside for 30 minutes
- In a pressure cooker, add the oil and sauce the onions until soft and translucent.
- Add the masala paste as well as the mutton and sauce for 5 - 10 mins until the mutton has been browned.
- Add in a cup of water, close the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles and 15 minutes on slow until the mutton is tender.
- While the mutton is cooking, peel the guavas, remove the seeds and cut them into thick wedges. Set aside.
- Once you have opened the cooker, add in the guavas and simmer the curry for a further 5 - 10 minutes until the guavas are soft.
- Turn the heat on low and add in the coconut milk to form a thick curry. Adjust the salt if need be.
- Once the curry has reached your desired consistency and the guavas are cooked, turn off the heat. Squeeze in some lemon juice and you are good to go!
- Serve hot with steamed rice and some kachubar on the side.