Goats are hardy creatures that have a natural instinct to navigate and explore. This keeps them active and produces a lean red meat. Although domesticated, the taste of goat meat is richer and somewhat juicier compared to meat from cattle. This makes the lean cuts very adaptable for stews, barbecues, and curries.
Curry spices often include ground coriander.
Curry is common throughout Asia. The flavor profile of curry depends on the region, with different areas of the world using different combinations of spices and different levels of heat. The curry found primarily in the Caribbean has its roots in Indian cuisine. Within the chain of islands that makes up the Caribbean, the degree of influence that the culinary traditions of the Indian subcontinent have on local cuisine varies widely. The spices used in goat curry have also been adapted to local availability.
Caribbean Goat Curry uses curry powders made from local spices that grow on the islands or are readily available. Almost without fail, two spices that regularly appear in commercial and homemade curry powders are turmeric and cumin. The Indian-inspired goat curry also includes coriander, caraway seeds, fennel, and sometimes the sweetness of cloves and ginger. Some commercial curry powder manufacturers produce a separate curry spice mix for meats such as goat and duck to complement the richness of the meat.
Caribbean cooks often rely on retail curry powder mixes to make goat curry, largely because it’s easier than grinding each spice. Goat meat is widely available throughout the Caribbean. Land use laws make it easy to raise goats in both urban and rural areas, providing cooks with fresh goat meat from backyard cattle.
Caribbean cooks often add the popular Scotch Bonnet pepper to goat curries to intensify the heat. Pre-seasoning or marinating the goat meat before making the dish is a tradition in places like Jamaica, where the goat curry preparation may also include thyme, onion, ginger, fresh tomatoes, or tomato sauce. The addition of coconut milk is common when preparing goat curries in the Caribbean. As well as providing an extra layer of flavor, the coconut milk helps tenderize the goat meat as it cooks.