Hi readers! Hope you all had a great holiday time! My holidays were fabulous: spent through partying, eating out, spending a lot of time with kids and relaxing! 2011 will always be a memorable year for me because this was the year when I started blogging, as we settled in Hong Kong.
So do you have any cooking or baking resolution for 2012? I, personally, do not believe in resolutions, but this year, I plan to explore more International cuisines. And yes, I will be trying out a lot of heirloom Indian dishes as well! I promised myself to spend more time reading the manuals in food photography, which is really important. Food presentation can make a lot of difference and this year, I will concentrate on this part, along with cooking and baking.
Cooking up for my family was, of course, on my holiday agenda. One of the dishes we loved eating during the holidays was Indian-style simple mutton curry. This is such a comfort food for us and reminds me of my childhood days at my parents’ place, where this curry was cooked by my mom almost every Sunday.
Mangshor Jhol (Bengali Mutton Curry)
[Mutton is the meat of a male goat. A young goat’s front thigh meat tastes the best for this dish. I included a few pieces from the ribs and included a little liver as well. The time to cook mutton will take longer if you choose mutton from an older goat. Also, for almost any kind of Indian cooking, choose red or purple onions which have low moisture content as well as sweetness level and can be browned easily. Please note that this is just one of the preferred ways to make mangshor jhol, which can be prepared in a few other ways as well!]
- Fresh hung curd (should not be sour): ¾ cup
- Salt for marination: 1.5 tsp
- Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
- Mutton pieces (medium-sized): 1 kg
- Mutton liver: 150 g
- Ghee (Indian clarified butter): 1 tbsp
- Bay leaves: 2
- Grated ginger: 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
- Fenugreek seeds: ¼ tsp
- Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
- Red or purple onion (cut into long and very thin slices): 1 cup
- Onion paste: 5 tbsp
- Garlic paste: 2 tbsp
- Fresh cream (made homogeneous in a mixer with 3 tbsp warm milk): 2 tbsp
- Cashewnut paste: 1.5 tbsp
- Coriander powder: 1.5 tbsp
- Cumin powder: 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder: ¾ tsp
- Readymade meat masala powder (available in all Indian stores): 1 tbsp
- Red chilli powder (or cayenne pepper): 2 tsp (optional)
- Salt: 1 tsp (quantity of salt may vary from person to person)
- Fresh green or red chillies for garnishing
- Mustard oil (if not available, replace with canola or sunflower oil): 5 tbsp
- Warm water: 4 cups
The most important step in preparing this Indian (Bengali) curry is in marinating the mutton well with fresh hung curd, 1.5 tsp salt, garlic paste and ghee and refrigerating this overnight.
Heat mustard oil till it is very hot and add the bay leaves on medium heat. Add the three kinds of seeds (cumin, fenugreek and fennel) and wait till these change colour and become light brown. When these just turn brownish, add all the onion slices and sauté continuously till these are nicely browned. You can add a few pinches of salt to make the process quicker. But always keep the flame on a medium while frying onions.
Stir in the onion paste and the coriander powder, meat masala powder and cumin powders dissolved in 4 tbsp water. The flame should be low. Sauté till the mixture dries up. Please note that this is a very important step and if you use high flame for this step, the whole curry will taste bitter.
Now add the marinated mutton and mix everything well. Adjust the flame to medium now. Cook for 10 min.
Add the garlic paste and the grated ginger to this and sauté for 2 min. Add the turmeric powder and mix well. Blend fresh cream with warm milk and cashewnut paste and add to this. Mix everything well. Cook for 5 min.
Add red chilli powder and salt and continue to cook the mutton on medium flame, covered, for 30 min, till the mutton has absorbed all the sauce and oil starts leaving from the mutton.
Add 4 cups of warm water to this and mix once. Add the whole green (or red) fresh chillies and pressure-cook till the meat is tender. (If you use a “pressure cooker”, it should have three whistles on a medium flame. After that, simmer for 15 min and turn off the gas after that. Open the cooker after 15 more minutes. To see what a pressure cooker looks like, please click here.)
This mutton curry is just perfect for winters and tastes awesome with both rice and chapatti. Serve with lemon wedges.