This Mutton Curry evokes the rustic flavours of the highway dhabas of Punjab. On a road trip to Chandigarh, we stopped at a dhaba and ordered mutton curry with tandoori rotis, which arrived with dollops of white butter. I walked right into the kitchen and pleaded the recipe out of the cook. On returning to Mumbai, I recreated the curry, albeit with a few touches of my own. It was an instant hit with the family. I like to serve it with generous quantities of white butter and whole green chillies.
- 750 gm mutton on the bone, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 150 ml mutton stock
- 8 black peppercorns, freshly ground
- 3 cloves
- 2 black cardamom, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 medium onions, pureed
- 1 green chilli, chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick, 1-inch long
- 1½ tbsp ghee
- ½ tbsp ginger paste
- ½ tbsp garlic paste
- Salt to taste
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped roughly
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds, ground
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
- ¼ tbsp fennel seeds, ground
- 1½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Punjabi garam masala
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Grind together the ingredients listed under ‘For Paste’ until you get a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan. Tip in onion puree and sauté until it acquires a light brown colour. Add salt and continue sautéing for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in ginger and garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes, before tossing in chopped green chilli and all the remaining whole spices.
- After a couple of minutes, put in the washed and pat-dried mutton pieces. Sear meat and spices on high flame.
- Lower the flame, fold in reserved spice paste and continue cooking for another 8 minutes.
- Bring to a simmer and pour mutton stock in. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and let the meat cook unhurried until tender.
- Once meat is tender and oil has separated from gravy, adjust the salt. Serve piping hot – garnished with chopped coriander leaves – with tandoori roti or steamed rice.
Notes: a. You may marinate the mutton pieces with whisked thick curd, Kashmiri red chilli powder and ginger garlic paste, and keep for an hour, before adding it to the pan.
b. Sprinkling in Kasoori Methi, slightly broiled and powdered, at the end can give the dish a new dimension.