Indian Antelope?

Do antelope exist in South India?   If they do, do you think they are sacred like cows?  Actually, cows aren’t sacred in Southern India….just Northern.    The reason I ask is because we have a freezer chalk-full of elk and antelope….so I have a hard time paying for meat.   Even when recipes call for specific types of meat, like lamb.  Lots of Indian cooking requires lamb, but mentally I’m not sure if I could purchase lamb (I mean, that means baby, right?!?!).  But I’ve really been wanting to try the Lamb Korma recipe in my Indian cookbook….so I did the only thing a smart girl with a freezer full of meat would do.  I used it.  
–Time out—
I haven’t always  been like this….so nonchalant about my meat.  In fact there were several years where I didn’t eat it at all!  I just don’t care that much about meat.  I’d rather eat cheese or pasta or pickles for that matter.  But I realized that if I was going to marry a mighty-hunter, I better at least try to use it in my cooking.   And I have never been so nonchalant about wild meat.   If we were having a BBQ I would go buy some regular ‘ol burger and distinctly label the “beef” and the “elk”…because I didn’t want anyone to find out they were eating elk mid-bite.  Some people freak out about that kind of stuff.  
But for reasons I’m not really sure of (perhaps laziness)…I’ve turned over a new leaf.  People pretty much know if they’re coming to our house they’re eating wild meat.  Whether it’s burger, sausage, steaks, brats or franks….they’re from God’s pantry.  And now, after watching Food, Inc., I’m even more convinced that it’s a good thing.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a huge fan of a big ‘ol steak, but it makes sense to me to use the plethora of meat available to me….hence the Indian Antelope. 
—Time in—
So last week I made what can only be described as an Indian feast for me and The Hubs….hey, I tried to invite other people to indulge in it.  But that just means more leftovers for me  (have I mentioned I love Indian food?  Um, yes.  Yes I do.  So the leftovers are usually not an issue for me).  
On the menu was:

Lamb Antelope Korma
Potatoes and Cauliflower with Peas
Pullao with Peas
Garlic Naan

It was hard enough coordinating all of these dishes at once, let alone take pictures of the whole process.  Plus, I probably shouldn’t just be giving away recipes from a cookbook, eh?  Aren’t there copyright laws about that?  But I did manage to capture the process of Antelope Korma, just for you guys!  And I figure it’s not entirely a copyright infringement because I used antelope…so there ya go.  Totally original. 

However, I really should give a shout out the cookbook that I’ve become a huge fan of:  Curried Favors.  I heard about this book from a friend that made some amazing Indian food for a dinner party.  She turned me on to this book and ever since it has been my go-to when succumbing to my Indian cravings.  Nearly everything I’ve made out of this book has been phenomenal; plus, it gives you a lot of background information about the plethora of Indian spices, why things are cooked the way they are, and substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients.  Hmmm…funny.  Antelope wasn’t in there.   

Yep. Image supplied by Amazon.

Warning …I learned pretty quickly that Indian food doesn’t look so good in pictures.  Sorry ‘bout that.  I swear it was good.

Antelope Korma

2 lbs cubed leg of lamb trimmed of fat (about 4 cups) 4 Cups cubed Antelope
Spice Mixture:
6 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 Cup sour cream

3 Cups thinly sliced onion
4 tbs vegetable oil (i thought this was too much)
2 tbs unsalted butter
2-inch piece cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods, crushed lightly to break pods
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger

1/4 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground with mortar and pestle
1/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water, or more as needed

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Marinate antelope in mixture of ground spices and sour cream for 30 minutes.

In a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, fry onion in mixture of oil and butter until edges are nicely browned.  Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, garlic, and ginger and continue frying for 1-2 minutes until onion turns medium brown.

Add marinated antelope to onion mixture and stir over medium to medium-high heat until sour cream disappears and antelope is no longer pink on the outside, about 2 minutes.  Stir in crushed fennel seeds, coconut milk, salt and 3/4 cup water; bring to boil.  Turn head down and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Uncover and simmer for another 20-25 minutes to thicken sauce, adding more water if sauce is too thick.  At this point the meat and sauce should have darkened somewhat.

Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat.  Salt to taste.

And there you have it.  I told you the pics weren’t pretty.  But if you can get past that and just focus on the gloriousness that is before you….wow.  This was yummy!

Here’s the whole spread:


Counterclockwise: Pullao with peas, Antelope Korma, Naan, Raita, Potatoes and cauliflower with peas.

 The recipe in this cookbook for rice (pullao with peas) is one of my absolute favorites…it’s cooked with chicken broth, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and turmeric.  De-LISH. 


 It’s making me hungry again!

If you haven’t tried Indian food before I would strongly encourage you to do so!  This may not be the first recipe I’d start you with, but if you want suggestions let me know.  I guarantee you’re going to love it. 

Oh, and final thoughts on the antelope?  Well….honestly I probably wouldn’t use it again (I know, I know…after that huge time out thing I went through above).  It’s just too strong of a flavor and it seems to take over from what the spices are trying to do.   And I don’t want nothin’ messin with my Indian.  So I suppose next time I would try to cross that mental hurdle and buy some lamb…or maybe elk would be better…



  1. I am proud of your localvore-like movement, but even more proud that you took a stand against politically incorrect – and inhumane, I might add – lamb. Here in Switzerland they love their veal. Yep, baby meat. Like you, I’ll do whatever I can to avoid “baby meat”. I will also head to the freezer before heading to the meat market. For example, antelope empanadas, those South American meat pockets from heaven, are divine. The trick with substituting game meat is to change up your steps. As you know, wild game is best rare (ie not gamey). With that in mind, complete all post “browning steps” before adding the game. Sometimes simply browning or cooking the meat separately does the trick.

    Hope that helps on your next culinary adventure to India:)


    PS – Indian food never looks good in pictures, but yours looks tasty. That’s coming from someone that doesn’t enjoy Indian food in the least;)

    1. Um….can I say YUM to antelope empanadas! Perhaps you should do a guest post on those!

      Thanks for the tips on cooking with game….I’m constantly tring to find ways to improve upon it. And gosh….thanks for the compliment…it means a lot coming from a non-Indian-food-lover!! Now get yer butt back home from Switzerland and tell us some stories!

      1. A guest post? Wow! What an honor! However, you’re perspective on the process would be much more entertaining to read:) I am happy to share my empanada recipe with you and give some tips. The recipe is from Portillo, Chile. Royce picked up the hotel cookbook while he was there for the US speed team training camp last fall.

        Keep writing! It is great entertainment while traveling and in general. One has plenty of time on there hands during World Cup racing. Lots of delays:(


      2. Sweet, thanks Erin….looking forward to the recipe!

        Hope you’re having fun! Looking forward to some pics and stories.

  2. I seriously am going to have to try this recipe – Indian curry is one of my favorites! You are quite the little cook Miss Janna. ;-) And if you ever feel the need to unload any of that meat in your freezer I can tell you there are two people in Charlotte, NC that would die to get some good ol’ Montana game. (wink, wink)

    1. If there were a good way to ship it, you know I would. Seriously…it’s coming out our ears.

      And yes! Please do try it! If you’re itching for another recipe give me a call and I can send some on. I have others that I like a bit more than this one that I’m sure you’d enjoy. If you do make it, take a pic and let me know. I’ll update my post!

  3. YUM! I must agree, the pullao with peas is delicious. Must I mention the gram masala incident?!?! j/k. I can attest to your cooking and Indian cookbook, they are devine. I now feel the need to go to Taste of India to get my fix.

    1. Ha Ha Ha…..oh my. That garam masala is a tricky one indeed. Krikee. I should have mentioned that YOU gave me the cookbook for my birthday….so thanks! At least you know I use it and love it, right? Jealous of Taste. So jealous.

  4. Yummy!! Sad you never made this while I was there. We actually have a couple decent Indian places here in Eugene… more motivation for a visit?? Suggestion… I like chicken saag, or chicken masala… what about using pheasant in place of chicken. Im excited just thinking about it. Actually, I have some pheasant here… hmmmm. Thanks for the post!

    1. I can do chicken masala! So it’s a date. It would be interesting to try it with pheasant….I’m sure it would be good. My motivation is already high for a visit….you need to work on your bro. Start mentioning things like Camron Hanes (doesn’t he live close)? And bow hunting. I think there is a shop down there he wants to go to. And oh yeah, his sis. :P

  5. Can you have a courier bring me some leftovers? I’d love to try your de-lish looking dishes! Maybe some Indian while we are in Helena? The pullao with peas is calling my name!

  6. The nilgai or “bluebull” is an ungulate and gets called everything from venison to beef, but truth is it’s really a big antelope. I mention that because it’s an Indian native and you can get some, free range, high quality in south Texas. It doesn’t have a strong taste at all. I mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with ground wild boar to make chile or just coarse ground nilgai for the recipe you posted here. And for the purists- I’ll stand corrected- antelope is a type of mutton, not beef or venison.

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