Any meat or vegetable works with this coconut-based curry. Here's my version with pork, another Mangalorean favorite.
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup shredded fresh coconut or 1/2 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut, reconstituted
10 to 12 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, to taste, stems removed
5 or 6 black peppercorns
3 or 4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or concentrate
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
4 cloves medium-size garlic
2 slices fresh ginger (each 2 inches long, 1 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick)
1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt or sea salt
10 to 12 medium-size to large fresh curry leaves
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut, chiles, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick. Stir-fry until the coconut is reddish brown and the spices smell fragrant, about 5 minutes. Then transfer the mixture to a blender jar and pour in 1 cup of the coconut milk, 1 cup of the onion, the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, tamarind, fenugreek seeds, garlic, and ginger. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to form a thick, gritty paste.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 cup onion and stir-fry until it is light brown around the edges, about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut paste, and then stir in the pork, salt, and curry leaves. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pork starts to sear, about 10 minutes. (At first it will stew in the juices it releases, along with the liquid from the coconut paste, and then as the liquid evaporates, it will start to brown.)
Pour the remaining coconut milk into the skillet and scrape the bottom to deglaze it, releasing any browned bits of onion, spice, and meat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fork-tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Then serve.