Sunday, 27 March 2016

Morich Mutton (Mutton in rich Garlic-Pepper Sauce)

The super hot summers are back again. Its really sweltering outside as I write this blog. Whole of Maharashtra is facing huge water crisis this year due to poor rains last year. Regular water cuts and new rules are being put up to stop water wastage. Thankfully everyone promoted a dry Holi this year and conscious efforts have been made by every housing society to conserve water. I just wish we get some good rains this time around. Last weekend we went to Mahabaleshwar with a group of friends on bike ride. landscape was pretty dry and mornings were very hot in the hill station as well. But I tell you the evenings are a delight over there. We went to Mapro Garden and had the amazing fresh strawberry with cream. The strawberries and Mulberries at this time of the year are totally out of the world. After that we had a long long ride under the star light sky thorough the serpentine roads of Panchgani, the twin city of Mahabaleshwar where we were staying. Had the T20 match between India-Pakistan not been on that day, we would not have returned to the rooms before midnight. The added benefit was it was an off-season weekend. Panchgani was practically touristless. It was almost like having the entire hill station to ourselves :).

Since the summers have set in its been mostly light tangy recipes on the menu in our home, easy to digest and less spicy. Also fish is the only non-veg being made off late, chicken and red meat are almost off my pantry.  Aam Daal or Mango lentil is the preparation I am making most of the days. It really helps to beat the heat. Also we are guzzling down like 5-6 glasses of juices or drinks that we got from Mapro. Kokum Sherbat is a very very potent drink when the heat is on. Today hubby experimented with the kokum sherbat a bit and it came out pretty well. Maybe someday I will put that down in the blog.

So as I was saying I am giving myself a break from all kinds of fancy cooking now a days. But the other day when I was chatting with Ma while coming back from office she told me about a mutton recipe she came to know that day. Pepper was the main element of the dish and sounded quite simple. Now pepper, garlic and butter are the three things which when comes together can create magic. The combination works pretty well with mushroom or paneer. This recipe also had this terrific ingredients combo. I wanted to make mutton with pepper from long time ago, but the recipes I found on net were not very much to my liking somehow. You know after a point of time you just read a recipe and you know whether it will suit your palate or not. Same was happening with me. But this particular recipe I liked and decided to try out even in this terrible heat. It turned out to be very simple and quite flavorful.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes  

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 3

Cuisine: Bengali 

  • Mutton - 700 gm 
  • Curd - 150 gm
  • Fresh Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp
  • Fresh Coconut Paste - 2 tbsp
  • Pepper Paste - 2 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp
  • Onion - 2 Medium sliced thinly
  • Peppercorn Whole - 5-6
  • Bay Leaf - 1 + 1
  • Red Chilli Dried - 2
  • Ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Refined Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Salt & Sugar as per taste

1. Clean the mutton. Take enough water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook the mutton with a bayleaf and a few pieces of garlic, till tender. Drain and keep aside the stock. 

2. Soak the peppercorns for an hour in some water, that way it will be easier to make a smooth paste.  In a grinder make a fine paste of the peppercorns. Add water as required to make the texture smooth.

3. Make a paste of the fresh garlic. I would not prefer using a store bought garlic paste as they have some preservatives which alter the taste of the dish.  

4. Take the warm boiled mutton in a mixing bowl and add 100 gm beaten curd, 1 tbsp fresh garlic paste and 2 tbsp fresh pepper paste. Mix well and keep it for at least 15 minutes. The more time the merrier. But I would not recommend to keep it overnight in a fridge as it would cool down the mutton and the rest of the cooking process would take time again.

5. Chop the onion into thin slices and keep aside.

6. Make a paste of the fresh coconut pieces and 50 gm curd. Adding coconut is optional. But I liked it as it added a texture to the dish without overpowering the main flavors.

7. Take a deep bottomed wok and heat the oil and ghee. This will be a bit dry dish hence go a bit liberal on the oil otheriwse the dish may stick to the wok when you fry on high heat.

8. Once the ghee is hot enough and flavorful, add the bayleaf, whole peppercorns and dried red chillies. Add the onions after that, with a pinch of salt and sugar. Remember you need to cook the dish on high heat, taking care it doesn't get burnt.

9. As the onions get slightly pink add the marinated mutton and fry for a while till the onions are soft.

10. Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of garlic paste. Adjust the salt and sugar levels. Fold in

11.  Add the coconut curd paste and cook till oil separates. Add a little mutton stock, enough to ensure the mutton doesn't stick to the wok. But don't put too much stock, we don't want a runny gravy.

12. Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of pepper paste. You can leave this step if you feel the dish already has enough heat in it. 

You should be able to see the oil separated and the dish has no moisture left. Add 1/2 a spoon of pure desi ghee to enhance the flavors. Serve the dish with any kind of sweet pulav. I served it with a simple carrot and Kismis pulav.

1. Heat level of this dish is mildly high. The heat is not as spicy as from a chilly but you will feel pretty warm inside. So take care while serving it to kids

2. The recipe asked for ghee but next time around would try it out with butter alone

Before signing off wish a very happy Easter to all the readers!

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