By Debajyoti Bordoloi
- Mutton- 1 kg (mixed pieces) + 30 gm. fat (extra). Cleaned, washed and dried. They were hanged for around 3 hours using a cotton cloth to drain the extra water so that the moistened meat pieces are ready.
- Onion – 1 kg. Julienned + 1 cup grated/ pureed.
- Fresh Ginger & Garlic paste- 1 tsp each.
- Raw Papaya – 3 tbsp (grated).
- Lemon Juice – 2 tsp.
- Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise, cinnamon, dry red chilies, green cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves (quantities ***), all dry roasted and grounded – 2 tsp or so.
- Kashmiri Mirch powder- 1 tbsp.
- One roasted tomato- peeled and pureed.
- Bunch of coriander stems, approx ½ inch of fresh ginger, 4-5 garlic cloves and a green chili – all grounded together with a pinch of salt (approx 2-3 tbsp).
- Mustard Oil (250 ml), Turmeric Powder (1 tsp or so), Salt (to taste) and Sugar (1 tsp).
- Black cardamom-2 pieces
- Crushed Black peppercorns- 1 tsp.
- The dried mutton pieces (and the extra fat) were thoroughly mixed with 1 cup grated onion, fresh ginger-garlic paste, raw grated papaya, lemon juice, turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder and 2 tbsp of mustard oil. Now, keep it refrigerated overnight in a tightly closed container (minimum 6 hours of keeping it marinated is essential for a better taste).
- Heated approx. 200 ml of mustard oil (piping hot) in a karahi, put a spoonful of sugar and the black cardamoms. When the sugar is caramelized, put in the julienned onions and fried until golden brown.
- When the onions were really done well, put the marinated mutton in and stir well for a proper mixing. After around 10-15 minutes of frying on medium flame, when the juices start coming out, put in the rest of the coriander stem-green chili-ginger-garlic paste, roasted tomato puree and the roasted powdered spices.
- After around 30 minutes, the mutton is almost fried, coated with all the ingredients, the fat started melting, the meat getting a nice color and absorbing the juices, add approx. 2 cups of lukewarm water at this point and also put in the kashmiri mirch powder (dissolve it in enough water so as to avoid any lump).
- Put a lid on the pan (should be leak proof to arrest steam from escaping) and simmer for around 45 more minutes.
- Check if the meat is tender; bring the flame to high once and put in some crushed black peppercorns (approx. 1 tsp.) and enough chopped green coriander leaves. Check the salt content and drizzle few drops of lemon juice, if you want, which will elevate the taste more.
- Hot and spicy mutton curry is ready to be served with rotis/ fulkas or steamed rice.
*** I make this spice mix usually and store for regular uses. One tbsp of each of cumin and coriander seeds, black peppercorns, couple of dry red chilies and bay leaves, 1 inch cinnamon stick , one star anise ,a few green cardamoms and cloves dry roasted on a pan and then ground to powder. Use it to your taste and store the rest tightly closed.