In Tamil cooking vinegar is hardly ever used. It may find its way into a few pickles, but even that is very rare. That is why this recipe is honoured with kaadi (vinegar) in the title. My uncle was in the Indian Air Force, and posted in the North during his service. He used to bring his family in summer to visit the relatives in Thirunelveli, and on the way, they used to make a halt in Chennai and stay a few days with us. In those days, the most convenient train was the Janata Express, which though called express, always came a day late. Therefore, for this journey, my aunt used to make chappatis and this vinegar fry which would keep easily for 2 days without refrigeration.
My aunt prepared this dish for us once when they stayed in our house and my family loved it. But since we ate rice more often than chappatis my mother used to serve it with dhal curry made without tamarind to compensate for the sourness in the vinegar. It is still a great favourite. I have retained my aunt’s original recipe, tweaking it to include pressure cooking the meat before frying to reduce cooking time.
This preparation provides very high quality protein of 24.6 g in 100 g of beef or 18.5 g in 100 g of mutton. If you are using beef, the fat content is almost negligible, but mutton provides 13.3 g of fat for every 100 g. Otherwise, the energy content of this preparation is provided by the gingelly oil that is used.
- ½ kg Beef or Mutton Cubes
- ¼ C Gingelly Oil (Sesame Oil)
- 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 2 T Vinegar (White or Brown)
- 8-10 large cloves of Garlic
- 2 cm piece Ginger
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 T Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- Marinate the meat by mixing all the ingredients (including the ground ingredients) except the oil. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Pressure cook the marinated meat, without adding water, for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai or wok.
- Before the oil becomes too hot, add the cooked meat and the stock that would have accumulated during cooking.
- Cook on low heat till the meat is almost dry.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder for its glorious colour and mild flavour. If you use any other chilli powder use only half the amount.
- You can use a tablespoon of the vinegar while you are grinding the ingredients to give it a smoother consistency.
- If you are using mutton ensure it is boneless mutton.