mutton as we know it better, is probably the one thing that tastes so good that
it needs no other accompaniment than a humble roti (its never just one, believe
me!) or plain white boiled rice.
wooden fires always enthrall us, hubby dear used to generally cook the meat,
alas! Pressures of work have denied us the pleasure of seeing him behind the
chulha…gas stove and enjoying the yummy meat curry. There will be a better tomorrow;
we say…he’ll cook again for us soon!
matter anything non vegetarian is generally the domain of men. Why, because men
make non veg just like they caress something they truly covet. Too much for a
cook and don’t bother to make it with the love and dedication that men do.
Hence the dishes they make are much, much tastier. I can vouch for that; hubby
dear has cooked many a mutton curry for us, slaving over a wood fired stove for
almost 5 hours. The meat has been tender, spicy and the gravy- mind blowing!
this baton falls in my hand temporarily. I try to recreate the magic, but deep
down I know he would’ve done better. So if you are a man, the labor of love
will give you lots of brownie points. And if you are female, en cash those
previously acquired brownie points and get your man to cook for, or with you.
of boned and boneless pieces)
cinnamon,1/4 tsp peppercorns,1/2 tsp shahi jeera or ordinary cumin seeds)
mince yourself,don’t wash the mutton,just pat it dry, wet meat is very difficult
pot will do. The pressure cooker provides the shortcut here. If you have a slow
cooker, any pan will do to initially
sauté the mutton , then you need to just transfer the contents to the slow
cooker and chill.
rid of any drops of water. Add in the oil- BTW the ghee tastes better…but the
cholesterol factor intimidates.
onions. Here you need to keep and eye.
The onions need to caramelise,but slowly. If you add salt and coriander powder at this stage,your onions will cook a wee bit faster.Once the onions are translucent,add in the whole green
chillies( you may omit them but they add to the flavor of the gravy).
garlic. The garlic melts into the gravy, but the ginger remains. If you don’t
want bits of ginger to appear amidst
your bite, you can pound it to shreds or maybe grate it.
Sauté some more and when the onions are golden brown, not
burnt…but almost there add in the mince. This crucial moment is an art that
took me many ruined gravy’s to learn. Problem is, if the onion is left even a
bit under cooked, you’ll find ghost like bits of onion floating in your gravy.
And if you’ve timed it just right , it will all melt and become a wonderful
velvet textured gravy.
minutes. Dump the remaining mutton in
stir and fry the mutton on a slow flame till the time that the mutton acquires
a golden glaze. This process is called bhunao. according to the book
“Cooking Secrets of the Maharajas” by Maharaja Digvijay Singh of Sailana, bhunao must be done three times during one cooking process.
OK, explanations- while you are frying mutton/ chicken on a low flame with any fat the pan gets layered with many scorched bits of the meat or onion or masalas. To lift the flavours off the bottom of the pan or deglaze the pan,pour in a little hot water , then cook it off and then again the water ,cooked off and water again.
We Indians don’t cook with alcohol. Its better drunk, pure and unadulterated free from the taste of food.
Now add the spices. The chili, turmeric and check for salt.
The whole spices have to be dry roasted to release the essential oils and the aroma.
Pour in the tomato puree …..
Pounded to a powder into the pan.
Mix well and cook with the mutton.
Now por over the hot water and leave to cook. If you are using a pressure cooker,3-4 whistles on a low flame should do it.An open pan will need atleast an hour to maybe hour and a half. Just keep checking the pan and add more water if needed.
Once the mutton is vooked you’ll see a film of oil laced with the spices floating on the gravy. You’ve been successful in making a perfect gravy where all the ingradients just blend into one another, that gravy will be soooo smooth and yum!
Its not over yet…no I did not forget the yogurt. Get the gravy to a rolling boil again, and whisk the yogurt well so that ou have no lumps.
Introduce a ladle full of the gravy to the yogurt to shock it,mix it well and then pour the yogurt into the boiling gravy. Keep stirring or the yogurt will split it the gravy,making it look like a pimply monster and ruining the taste of the gravy.
One boil and you are done.
You can even serve bread with this gravy…after all the starch is a mere conduit. One big bowl of meat curry….should be enough for 4, but it rarely is. And if you do have left overs, it tastes even better the next day!
Serve it warm with plain boiled rice or a roti- actually a single roti will not do…you’ll need many.
Try it, even if you do have your own version…a change is always great.
So what are you baking today???