Saturday, November 9, 2013

The King Of Curries

In everyone's life there is this one recipe that takes the very last ounce of effort and patience to prepare and comes out completely dead.Its a huge put off to toil away at a dish like that only to find it staring back at you uneaten;untouched.I'm quite sure it has happened to each one of us at some point and if it hasn't;be rest  assured that it will.But isn't this how we learn our lessons. (-;

Now,I have always been one of those people who would start digging a ditch when thirsty.It was only much later that I learnt the art of being prepared and it came in quite handy after kids.Although  I had some very basic idea about cooking ever since i started living away from home; if you threw me words like a bain marie then,I would have simply stared at you cutely fluttering my eyelashes away.Having said that;its not that now I have suddenly turned into this gourmet diva but at least  now I know the difference. 

Despite being an enthusiastic cook I was a tad skeptical about cooking a lamb curry at home for the longest time ;the reason simply being the fact that whenever I tried my hands at it; it never met my expectations.To tell you the truth i am a big sucker for perfection and i cannot eat or feed people mediocre food even if i had an impending fire burning my behind.Having eaten some great lamb curries in the past ;i didn't wanted to spoil the experience for me.But a casual chat with a friend over tea and a few tips from over the internet came to my rescue.I finally mustered up the courage to make the curry with just a couple of tweaks to my own recipe.Needless to say there was absolute silence on the dining table. i also did a little winning  jig after dinner (-;

I've been cooking now for years and have perfected quite a few recipes like this one here but the most important thing that i have learned over the years is to never shy away from trying something new.It may not come out perfect the first time or may never do so but it is absolutely alright to not be perfect at everything.It pays to try and fail;and then try again until you get where you want to be.And while you are at it; share experiences with a friend you must   :-)

Lamb/Mutton Korma:

Ingredients and preparation

Mutton                                       1 kg
Onions (sliced)                           1 kg  
Ginger garlic and
Green chillies paste                    3 tbspn
Curd     (beaten)                         250 gms    
Green cardamoms                      4-5 pods
Cloves                                        6-8
Black cardamom                        2
Cinnammon stick                       1 inch    
Kashmiri red chilli 
powder                                       2   heaped  tbspn
Coriander powder                      1    heaped tbspn                                    
Garam masala                            1    tbspn
Dried ginger powder                  1    tspn
Chopped fresh coriander  
Salt                                            to taste
Vegetable oil to cook
Ghee for flavor                       1   tspn
Lemon zest (optional)

Wash and clean the meat pieces and trim any extra fat if you want.

Fry half of the sliced onions till deep red and drain on a kitchen towel.

Prepare ginger,garlic and green chilli paste.

Soak all dry spices in half a cup of water and keep aside.


In a heavy bottomed pan heat two tablespoons of oil.Add the meat pieces;few at a time and sear them from each side till they turn light golden in color.Remove them on a kitchen towel .
In the same oil;add whole spices.When the spices become aromatic;add the ginger,garlic and the green chilli paste.Fry the paste on medium heat till the raw smell goes away.
After the paste is cooked;add the dry spices soaked in water and cook over medium heat;stirring in between till they leave oil from the sides of the pan and take on a  reddish golden colour.
Now add mutton pieces to the pan;stir well to coat all the pieces.Cover  and cook for a few minutes over low heat.
Now add the remaining onions quickly followed by the beaten curd to the mutton.Add salt to taste and cover the pan.Leave it to cook over low heat for another 10 minutes occasionally stirring in between.     
Add in the fried onions now.Increase the heat and keep stirring to prevent the spices from  sticking to the bottom of the pan.At one point the curry will begin to leave the sides of the pan;at this point add two cups of water/stock and cover the pan.
Cover the pan and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes or till the till the meat pieces are tender.You can also pressure cook it on low to medium heat for 2-3 whistles to make sure the meat is well done.
After the pressure is released from the cooker; add chopped coriander and the zest of a lemon. Stir in some ghee while the curry is still hot to add great rustic flavor.             
Serve either with Chapati/Naan or  rice; it goes well with both. 
Point to remember:
The pan that you cook the mutton curry in should be sufficiently large to stir the meat around  well else it will turn out soggy.