Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Slow-cooked mutton stew

The preparation of this stew requires no water. And no ground spices. You will need: mutton pieces (300 grams or so), one teaspoon (tsp) cumin seeds (jeera), a couple of dried red chillies (lal mirch), a couple of bay leaves (tej patta), two brown cardamoms (badi ilaychi), three-four green cardamoms (chhoti ilaychi), a couple of one-inch sticks of cinnamon (dalchini), five-six cloves (laung), one tsp coriander seeds (dhania), two medium sized onions (pyaaz), a square inch piece of ginger (adrak), two-three cloves of garlic (lahsun), two tablespoons (tbsp) clarified butter (ghee), two tbsp oil (tel), turmeric powder (haldi) and salt (namak). Use a non-stick pan/kadhai.

  1. Chop pyaaz, crush adrak and lahsun. Let the mixer/blender rest. Use a heavy glass bottle to crush the ginger and garlic. You may also use the rolling pin (belan).
  2. Wash the mutton thoroughly and keep it in water for an hour or so. You may need to keep it longer if you are using frozen mutton.
  3. Put the oil in the pan. Put the bay leaves, red chillies and cumin seeds when the oil is hot. [Did I mention the stove and the fire?]
  4. When the seeds splutter, add the brown and green cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves.
  5. Sauté this a little and add the coriander seeds.
  6. Add the chopped onions, crushed ginger and garlic.
  7. Put turmeric and salt into the pan.
  8. Sauté the spices for a couple of minutes before adding the mutton pieces.
  9. Fold the mutton into the spices and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  10. Mix a tbsp clarified butter.
  11. Cover the pan with a lid and let the mutton cook. Keep checking the mutton every five-ten minutes and mix with a ladle.
    It will take an hour or so for the mutton to cook. However, it may take less time depending on the quality of the mutton. Biharis add some chopped raw papaya for the mutton to cook faster. Try it. It works.
    You don’t need water as the onion and the juices from the meat are enough for this stew.
  12. After taking the pan off the fire, add a tsbp of clarified butter.

Serve this stew hot with rice, rotis or puris. You may try this with the unstuffed kachauri, the recipe for which was posted earlier.

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