Desi, totally desi, and north Indian to boot. Lamb...or 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.
And red, spicy awesome mutton cooked with gravy that is to die for.
Stories, of the grandmothers and the meals cooked over 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!
In North India they believe that making mutton, or for that 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 food blog??
OK, they say that women treat non veg like all else they 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!
Since he is majorly occupied with matters of the office, 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.
Let the red meat spice up your lives.
OK ,the pressure cooker is now hot enough, to basically get rid of any drops of water. Add in the oil- BTW the ghee tastes betterâ¦but the cholesterol factor intimidates.
Let the oil heat to its smoking point and pop in the chopped 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).
A bit of stirring, and now its time to put the ginger and garlic. The garlic melts into the gravy, but the ginger remains. If you donât want bits of ginger to appear amidst your bite, you can pound it to shreds or maybe grate it.
We braise the meat too, but with the onions. You need to stir and fry the mutton on a slow flame till the time that the mutton acquires a golden glaze.
This process is called bhunao. accordinl to the book âCooking Secrets of the Maharajasâ 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 donât 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.
he whole spices have to be dry roasted to release the essential oils and the aroma.
Pour in the tomato puree ....and the pounded spices.
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 youâll see a film of oil laced with the spices floating on the gravy. Youâve 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 yetâ¦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 gravyâ¦after all the starch is a mere conduit. One big bowl of meat curryâ¦.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 doâ¦youâll need many.