Friday, July 13, 2012

Mutton curry

PaNthar Mangsho Bhat..Mutton curry and Rice

In Bengali households Sundays are not complete without paNthar mangsho (goat meat curry) and bhat (cooked rice).  It was a practice in our house too. Ma used to cook an aromatic red mutton curry with some quartered potatoes in that.  Sunday mornings were as usual laid back, one of the most interesting thing to do on Sunday mornings was to accompany Baba to the ‘bajar’(market). We (my elder brother and I) used to love the bajar, the crowds, the noise, the bargain, even that fishy smell in the fish market. But those screaming chickens and hanging goats in the meat shop were a big turn off. At the end we used get a bubble gum or a pack of poppins. Those were the biggest attraction for us. Even right now I’m smiling thinking of those wonderful memories. After the bajar, the other fun thing for me was to sort the veggies in the kitchen. In my Ma’s kitchen there were separate baskets (and still there are) for potatoes, onions, green chilies and other vegetables. I used to sit on the kitchen floor and play with the veggies more than sorting them…..:)
Ok, no more childhood stories, let’s come back to our mutton curry. Ma used to cook the mutton curry in a pressure cooker. Whistling pressure cookers, was the common sound from almost all the kitchens on Sundays in the neighbourhood. Also a reminder to take a bath and be ready for the lunch. See I’m being nostalgic again. So no more stories, straight to the mutton curry.

How to cook Sunday special mutton curry:

Take a pressure cooker, heat some mustard oil. Bengalis cook almost everything in mustard oil. When the oil is hot add quatered potatoes, fry them till nice golden-brown. Keep aside.

In that oil add one inch cinnamon sticks(2 no.), 3-4 green cardamom, 5-6 cloves, 1 blabk cardamom (only the seeds, discard the skin), 1 bay leaf, 1/2tsp shah jira.

Add chopped onion. Add a spoonful sugar, this will bring a nice red color to the curry. Mix well. Cover and cook in medium flame for 4-5 min.

When the onion is soft and transparent add ginger paste and crushed garlic. Mix well and cook for 4-5min.

Add chopped tomato. Mix well. Sprinkle a little salt. Cover and cook for 7-8min.

When the tomatoes are soft and mushy add turmeric powder, red chili powder, kashmiri red chili powder. Mix it well. Cook for 3-4min in low medium heat.

Add the cleaned and washed mutton pieces. Add salt. Mix well. Cover and cook in medium flame for 10min.

The mutton will release a lot of water, now uncover and cook in medium heat. Just take care so the mutton does not stick to the bottom.

Gradually all the water will evaporate and oil will separate from the masala. Add hot water and mix well. The amount of water depends on the amount of gravy one need. Close the pressure cooker, put the weight on. Keep the heat to medium. Wait till 2 whistles. Switch off the flame and wait till pressure releases. Once the pressure is released check if the mutton is fully cooked or not. It should be thoroughly cooked by this time. Now add the fried potatoes along with a teaspoon full ghee and garam masala powder and again close the pressure cooker, put the weight on. Keep the heat to medium and wait till 1 whistle. Remove from heat. Wait till pressure releases.

Serve hot with rice and green salad.

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