These leggy black goats are now considered a national treasure in India. The government goat farm in Attappadi village is the only place that these goats can legally be purchased. At less than 5,000 in the world, they are considered a highly endangered breed. Although primarily used for meat, they can be milked and their milk is described as having a pleasant smoky overtone. “They can withstand the dry wind of Attappady and survive even on low quality roughage without much care and attention. They are immune to common goat diseases such as foot and mouth disease, pneumonia, enteritis, enterotoxaemia,” said N. Sudhodanan, Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry department of Kerala, India.
The government farm, run by villagers, can be visited, but hours vary so be sure to contact the regional animal husbandry directorate at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about access. And while you are in the area, visit the Silent Valley National Park, a World Heritage Biosphere. There are plenty of lodgings sprinkled through the area, some as low as $19 for an Airbnb room on a tribal farm, to much pricier and more luxurious tea plantation estates.
This traditional Sayda (Feast) dish of bitter gourds and coconut from this portion of Kerala can use goat or cow yogurt as the topping. Admittedly, bitter gourds can be hard to come by in certain parts of the world, but in many urban areas, Asian food markets carry them. If there is a good substitute for bitter gourd, I have yet to find it. You can get the seeds easily on Etsy for about $6, so if you have a greenhouse or live in a fairly toasty climate, you can grow your own.
- 1 bitter gourd, deseeded and sliced thinly
- 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 2-3 Thai green chilies
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- salt to taste
- Heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds to it. Once they splutter a bit add the bitter gourd slices to it. when the bitter gourd slices are crispy fried, golden brown and looking a little like fried calamari rings, strain them and set them aside.
- Add the curry leaves and coconut, stirring gently and constantly. Be prepared for a little steam and sizzle at this point.
- After about 2-3 minutes, add the chilies, cumin, and salt. Fry for 2 minutes then put in the reserved bitter gourd. Stir for another minute, then place in a serving dish and top with the yogurt.
- Serve immediately, as this dish does not reheat well once the yogurt is placed on top so if you need to hold it for a while, keep the chilled yogurt aside until the dish can be topped with it just before eating.
This recipe was adapted from https://www.cookingcurries.com
This site has some amazing recipes and I encourage those of you that like really unusual and spicy food to give a look.
Haardik Khao…Eat Hearty