Mutton, main dish, spicy, North Indian
When I got married in 1974 I hardly knew how to cook. I am basically a vegetarian, while Prakash, my husband, loves non-vegetarian food. Unlike many other young couples of those days, we moved into our own house immediately after our wedding. So I had to feed my foodie husband by myself, but I knew I couldn't do it. Initially, we ate with my in-laws, but how long could this go on? So, I decided to cook.
I remember the first meal I cooked. It was a simple potato bhaji, and yet it was a total disaster. We dunked it in the garbage and went out for dinner! How long could this go on?
I asked my mother-in-law, Dr. Shakuntala Rege, to teach me how to cook. Besides being a doctor, she was an excellent cook! I do not know how she found the time, but she wrote down her favourite - or rather my husband's favourite - recipes. All I had to do was follow them exactly, and they would turn out fine. And, yes, they did - just YUMMY.
Here is our family's all time favourite recipe.
Serves 4-6 people
- Mutton - 1 kg (2.2 lbs).
For the marinade
- Onions - 3 (small)
- Garlic pods - 12 (small) 200 grams (6.5 ounces)
- Ginger - 1 inch or 1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
- Coriander seeds whole - 1.5 tsp
- Peppercorns - 12
- Turmeric (haldi) - 1 tsp
- Cardamom - 10
- Cinnamon - 1.5 inch
- Curd (yogurt) - 1 cup
- Chilli powder - to taste.
- Salt - to taste
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Vegetable oil - 4 tbsp
- Saffron - 4-5 strands
Make a paste of yogurt, onions cut fine, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli powder, and salt.
Marinate the mutton in this paste and keep it aside for 1 - 2 hrs.
Heat oil, add 10 garlic cloves and 2 finely cut onions and fry them to a golden brown. Add the marinated mutton and fry again for 10-15 minutes. Add water 1 cup to the required consistency and cook till done.
In a pressure cook it takes about 3 whistles on high flame, and then 10 minutes on low flame.
Mix saffron in lemon juice.
Just before serving, add saffron-lemon juice mixture.
© Rekha Rege 2009
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