Mutton Korma for Happiness!
The mutton korma and pulao that you see in the picture above? It could well have been my Durga Puja dinner but then….yeah, that was my birthday dinner. Cooked by the husband, from start to finish, all by himself. I had grown up with mutton curry and pulao as permanent fixture on my birthday menu for years and so he quietly decided to treat me to a typical mangxo-pulao dinner. Since mutton/goat meat/lamb had almost disappeared from our lives, it was really a big treat for me on my birthday!
As a matter of fact, the husband had asked me how I wanted to have the mutton - fried or with a little gravy or with a runny curry. I felt so grand! Finally, I settled on middle-way and decided to have mutton with a little gravy. This goes so well with pulao or even lusi (puri) and it had been ages since I had a home-cooked version of it. The husband, however, wanted to make the dish a little ‘hatke’ from the mutton curry that we generally make with onions and tomatoes. He browsed through a few recipes on the net and finally settled on Rocky and Mayur’s (of Highway On My Plate fame) mutton korma.
The poor guy slaved away in the kitchen the whole evening and I must say his efforts were indeed laudable. I loved the plate of amazingly flavourful mutton and the light yet decadent pulao. Maybe I shall ask him for the pulao recipe and upload it someday. The mutton, meanwhile, had an achari taste, tickling the taste-buds to the core. Rocky and Mayur (I doubt Mayur had any role in the recipe since he is a vegetarian) got it absolutely bang-on! Now you know what to cook to celebrate Durga Devi’s victory over Mahishasura!
Here’s the recipe, lifted out straight from cooks.ndtv.com:
1 kg mutton/goat meat/lamb
2 tablespoons each of ginger-garlic paste
4 medium sized onions, sliced thinly
4 green chillies, split lengthwise
3 badi ilaichi, 6 choti ilaichi (green cardamoms), 8 cloves – all crushed to little bits
3 - 4 small cinnamon sticks, bashed roughly
2 - 3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons black pepper, ground to a powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and then ground to a powder
½ teaspoon kaala jeera
¼ teaspoon each of jaiphal and javitri (nutmeg and mace), roughly ground
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 cup yoghurt, whipped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 small sprig of coriander leaves, optional (for garnishing)
About 10 pieces each of cashews and raisins, optional (for garnishing)
Oil or desi ghee (clarified butter) for cooking
Salt to taste
Fry the onions in oil / ghee with a pinch of salt till crisp. Remove and put them on a kitchen towel. Crush these fried onions when they cool down and are dry. Keep aside.
In the same oil/ghee, fry the mutton till its color changes, which will be about 10 minutes on medium heat.
Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for another 10 minutes on medium heat.
Cool a bit and add the yogurt, a few spoonfuls at a time and keep blending. Cook till the oil separates.
Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, kala jeera, bay leaves and fry well again on medium heat. Tip in the crushed fried onions. Put water (should be hot water) whenever you feel the need. Keep stirring.
Cook on low heat till the meat is tender.
Sprinkle javitri, jaiphal and ilaichi powder and the green chillies.
In a separate small pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add garam masala to it. Pour this flavoured ghee over the mutton.
Now, add as much water as required for a thick curry and cover the vessel. Cook till the mutton is done. Check for salt. Our mutton korma is ready!
Garnish with cashews, raisins, fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steaming pulao (like how I was served) or with hot, fluffy puris. Enjoy!
Oh and wish you a very happy Durga Puja and Dussehra. May you have all the happiness in the world!