What I need:
- 1.5 lb of [bone-in ]mutton, cut into medium pieces [or lamb or beef]
- 1.5 cups of buttermilk [slightly sour]
- 3 fat garlic cloves, grated
- 2″ shoot of ginger,grated
- 1 tsp nutmeg, grated
- Salt to taste
Whole Spices :
- 2 cups onions , thinly sliced
- 10-12 whole dry red chillies
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorn
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 nos black cardamoms, cracked open
- 3 bay leaves
- 5-6 cloves
- 1″ shoot of cinnamon
- 1 twig mace
- 4 tbsp cooking oil [I use mustard, you can use olive/canola]
- 2-3 cups warm water
How I did it:
- Wash and pat dry the mutton pieces.
- In a ziplock plastic bag, pour in the buttermilk, grated nutmeg,grated garlic & ginger along with salt.Give it a shake to combine well.
- Next, tip in the mutton pieces into the bag and give it a shake again to make sure that the buttermilk covers all the pieces.Lay the bag flat in a big square tray and let marinate overnight or at least 3-4 hours.
[Method 1 : Cooking in an Open pot [with lid]/Dutch oven]
- Heat the oil in a pot/dutch oven to a smoking point on medium heat.TIP: When using mustard oil, you need to heat it up till the point it starts smoking to ensure the raw smell is gone.For 4 tbsp oil, atleast good 8-10 minutes.If using olive/canola, the heating time will be way less.
- Once heated,reduce the heat to low and wait for 5 minutes to lower the temp a bit so that spices don’t burn.Add all the whole spices except dry red chillies to the oil and cook until the spices emit their aroma..around 3 minutes.
- Next add the onions, raise the heat to medium and cook the onions stirring constantly untill they become translucent to light brown.
- Add the dry red chillies then.
- Strain the mutton pieces from the buttermilk mixture, retain the marinade.
- Add the mutton pieces to the pot and on high heat, cook the mutton pieces for 10-12 minutes until all sides of the meat have browned.
- Next, add the marinade & 2 cups of warm water to the pot, check the salt and cover the pot/dutch oven.
- Let the water come to a boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to as low as possible.
- Let the meat simmer in the pot/dutch oven for good 4-6 hours periodically checking to make sure the liquid doesn’t dissipate, and adding warm water if needed.
- The stew is considered finished when the meat is very tender, just about to fall apart from the bones and the flavor of the gravy is intense. Adjust the salt again if needed.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro & serve with warm khamiri rotis [yeasted flatbreads] and onions.
[Method 2: Using a pressure pan/cooker]
The time taken by this popular Indian method is very less and the taste is slightly different and less intense. The cooking steps remain the same except that you need to cook the meat as per your pressure cooker.To give a rough estimate, the meat will take at least 25-30 minutes with 6-7 whistles on a low heat to become tender.