History-lovers know that Awadhi Cuisine and Bengalis do have a strong relationship. That’s why (and otherwise too!) making an Awadhi Gosht Korma on Bengali New Year is a good idea. If you are tired of making Kosha Mangsho everytime on any special Bengali occasion such as the upcoming Noboborsho or the Bengali New Year and searching for a recipe of a good mutton curry, this Lucknowi Gosht Korma will perfectly fit the bill. A Korma is a regal Lucknowi dish made with mutton or chicken and cooked in Dum Pukht style. In olden days, kormas were made in sealed copper handis, which were cooked over charcoal fire for a long time. When the seal was broken, the flavour and aroma that engulfed the surroundings, were outstanding.
The recipe of an Awadhi Mutton Korma generally uses brown onion paste, yogurt, nut paste and choicest spices in less quantities so that these don’t make the dish go overboard in any way. In the Awadhi Gosht Korma, various kinds of essences like saffron, Mitha Ittar and Kewda (screwpine) are used. It is the nuts which add richness to the dish. Yogurt add body and brown onion paste gives the colour. The dish is best enjoyed with Pulao, Naan or any kind of flatbread. It is also great with Sheermal!
Few points to note when cooking Awadhi Gosht Korma
A Korma gets its rich brown colour because of the onions, which are first fried in ghee until brown in colour and then turned into a velvety paste. So, brown onion paste is a must for this recipe! Do add the “Khushbu Masala” or the fragrant masala at the end for best results. Also, adding Char Magaz paste does its own magic. Char Magaz literally means “four brains” and is extremely beneficial for health. Char Magaz is basically a mixture of dried and deskinned musk melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, water melon seeds and cucumber seeds. If unavailable, don’t worry. Just add dried musk melon seeds. By the way, do you know what happens when a Bengali cooks an Awadhi Gosht Korma? Potatoes get added to it.
Bengali Noboborsho Special Recipe: Awadhi Gosht Korma
- Mutton with bones chopped into medium-sized pieces: 2.5 kg
- Raw papaya paste: 2 tsp
- Medium-sized onions finely chopped: 6
- Deskinned and halved potatoes optional: 6
- Ginger paste divided: 2 tbsp
- Garlic paste divided: 3 tbsp
- Homemade tomato puree: 1 cup
- Curd: 4 tbsp
- Salt: according to taste
- Sugar: ½ tsp
- Freshly roasted coriander powder: 3 tsp
- Freshly roasted cumin powder: 3 tsp
- Turmeric powder: ¾ tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder or yellow red chilli powder: 1.5 tbsp
- Bay leaf: 1
- Cinnamon one-inch: 1
- Cloves: 6
- Green cardamoms: 6
- Black cardamoms: 2
- Ingredients for the nut paste:
- Cashewnuts: 6
- Roasted poppy seeds: 3/4 tsp
- Char Magaz alternately, musk melon seeds: 1.5 tsp
- Ghee: ½ cup
- White oil: 2 tbsp
- Warm mutton broth bone stock: around 350 ml
- Warm water: as required
- Ingredients for the Khushbu Masala:
- Green cardamom powder: ½ tsp
- Nutmeg and mace powder: ½ tsp
- Kewda essence: 2 drops
- Meetha Ittar: 2 drops
- Dried rose petal powder: ½ tsp
- Saffron soaked in 4 tbsp warm milk: ½ tsp
- Marinate the mutton for a few hours with raw papaya paste, salt (2.5 tsp) and half of the ginger-garlic pastes. In a pressure-cooker (or a handi), parboil the mutton with warm water. Take out the mutton pieces and keep in a bowl. Strain the mutton broth and keep it aside for making the curry.
- Heat ghee and oil in a handi or a deep-bottomed pan. Fry the onions till well-browned but not dark brown. Remove the onions from the handi and grind to a smooth brown paste by adding little water. This is our brown onion paste.
- In the same ghee, fry the potatoes with some salt, until golden. Remove the potatoes and keep aside. Adding potatoes is completely optional.
- Add the bay leaf. Add the cinnamon, cloves, green cardamoms and black cardamoms after that. Now add the remaining ginger-garlic pastes. Sauté for a while. Add the brown onion paste. Sauté until ghee starts separating from the onion paste. Add the tomato puree, coriander-cumin powders, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red/yellow chilli powder, sugar and 1 tsp salt. Sauté again till ghee separates.
- Add the parboiled mutton pieces to the handi. Sauté for 30 min.
- In a blender, adding curd, make a smooth nut paste with the ingredients for nut paste. Add the nut paste slowly to the handi, sautéing continuously. Cook for 5 min.
- Now add the warm, strained mutton broth (around 350 ml). Add warm water to just submerge the mutton pieces. Mix gently and check the salt in the Korma gravy. Cover the handi with a lid. Add more salt, if required. Seal the handi with wheat atta dough and let it simmer for 45 min.
- Open the seal after 45 min. (Be careful not to burn the fingers with the sudden waft of vapours from the handi.)
- Add all the ingredients of the Khushbu Masala to the Korma. Give it a gentle stir. Cover.
- Open after 10 min. Serve with any Indian flatbread or Pulao.
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