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Brunch Indian Curry Non vegetarian Side Dishes

Laal Maas – Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry

SinfullySpicy - Laal Maas, Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry001I feel unusually excited about curries at this time of the year. Generously spiced, red hued, boldly flavored curries are a different beast during winters, just waiting for rotis to be dunked in or rice to be mixed.These are the months that I reserve for time-consuming meat stews and long cooking processes. There is comfort in standing beside the stove preparing meals which warm up the heart and soul.

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Couple of years back, I saw a chef talk about and prepare this fiery curry on a food show. All I remember is that he used simple day-to-day spices,grated in lots of garlic & doused the masala in yogurt to tame down the heat from all those dry chilies. Only after making it, did I realize what he meant when he said this curry is not for the faint hearted.

SinfullySpicy - Laal Maas, Rajasthani Red Mutton Curry003, hot chili

I did not grow up eating it, so I came up with from what I remembered & what suits our tastebuds.The sauce is fiery, though beautifully hued and the dash of ghee towards the end must.You really need mellow side dishes with this meal – plain dal tadka and lot of kachumber (sans the green chili) to wash it down. The intense flavors open up your appetite but you won’t want to stop 🙂

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The dish can be made a hot as or not as you want. I use a mixture of kashmiri chili powder for less heat but the intense color. You could go ahead and use super hit red chilli powder if you want it fiery!.Now, it is something which I would not make every now & then.Maybe once or twice a year – the flavors are excellent but hot! We drank so much water during dinner time but what a nirvana!

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Ingredients – Serves 2-3

  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom (buy online here
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1.5 lb mutton (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ ginger shoot, minced
  • 10-12 whole dry kashmiri chillies (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (or cayenne)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup thick curd/plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp ghee
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • cilantro to garnish

Notes

  1. The dish can be made a hot as or not as you want. If you use store bought kash miri chill powder, the taste is mild but its lends a beautiful color.So the dish will come out less hot.
  2. If you powder whole dried kashmiri chillies like I do, the fresh ground chilies are hot and bring in the beautiful red color too! 

Method

In a heavy bottomed pot with lid, heat mustard oil till it smokes and immediately turn off the heat. Wait for about a minute or so to let it cool to medium hot. Return to the stove and  add the cloves, black cardamom and bay leaf. Wait for them to crackle.

Add the sliced onion to the pot and cook on medium till they turn brown. Once the onions have browned, add the mutton pieces,kashmiri chili,red chili & turmeric powder to the pot and sauté uncovered for about 20 minutes till you see the sides of mutton getting brown.

Add the minced ginger and garlic to the pot next and sauté for another 5-8 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to low, wait for 2 mins and add the yogurt to the pot. Also add the salt and slowly stir around so that the yogurt combines with spices and coats the mutton pieces. Saute uncovered for another 2 mins.

Add the water, ghee and grated garlic to the pot next and increase the flame to medium, cover the pot and cook till the mutton is done. It took me about 40 minutes for the meat to be thoroughly cooked.If you intend to use a slow cooker, adjust the cooking time, for pressure cooker, it might take 3-4 whistles for cooking through.

Let the curry rest for about 3-4 hours before serving.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with flatbreads or steamed rice.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Categories
Desserts Easy Recipes Rice Dishes Vegetarian

Kewra Kheer-Aromatic Rice Pudding With Screw Pine Water & Foxnuts

Kewra Jal or Screwpine water is used to flavor a lot indian curries,biryanis,drinks and desserts particularly those which are milk based.It is also used in lot of indian sweets made out of squashes and dried milk.Drinks prepared with Kewra are said to be have a cooling effect on the body during the scorching summer months.Similar to rose-water or orange blossom water, the essence is more concentrated than Kewra water.The essence may be yellowish or transparent in color.

Other than food, if you happen to visit the beach destinations of India, you can indulge in Kewra water bath and spa sessions at many of the resorts and hotels.Perfumes and body lotions containing essential oils made with Kewra are also popular as stimulants to cure headaches and provide general relaxation to body. Ayurveda,the ancient form of medicinal cure with natural products is known to use Kewra for healing joint pains and bone related problems.All in all Kewra is supposed to have cater to those senses of your body which provide calmness to mind and soul.

Talking about “Makhana” or Foxnuts, these are used a lot to make curries and desserts.These are nothing but puffed seeds of the foxnut plant.Some people like to add foxnut seeds to the daily cereal to increase fibre in their diet.In indian cooking, it is widely used as a natural thickener in crushed or powdered forms.When toasted with butter/oil and sprinkled with salt and dried herbs, puffed foxnuts make a great snack with evening tea.Eating a handful of foxnuts daily is considered to strengthen the heart and is very useful in anemia.

Dont get the impression that the rice pudding that I have prepared using all the stuff above is healthy, but it is certainly rich and flavorful.Anyhow, after all that overdose of knowledge, let me come to the recipe which is nothing but “Kheer” or indian rice pudding made by cooking crushed foxnuts and basmati rice with whole milk and flavored with green cardamom powder and kewra water.It is the most luscious and exotic form of dessert for us.Indian kheer is different from the pudding recipes around the world in the sense that it is not egg based.Some people like to add condensed milk to rice pudding for fast thickening, I normally don’t do that and stick to the traditional way of thickening the milk via slow cooking.It is considered auspicious to offer Kheer to God during festivals.I prepared this recipe last week.Below goes the recipe:

Ingredients [Serves 4]

  • 1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 5 cups whole milk [or half n half]
  • 1/4 cup crushed foxnuts [makhana, available at indian stores]
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar [or adjust to taste]
  • 1 tbsp Kerwa water [If using essence put, 1-2 drops only] [Available at indian stores]
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • handful of golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • For Garnish- chopped almonds, raisins,toasted foxnuts,pinch of cardamom powder, shredded coconut [optional]

Method:

  • Wash the rice under 2-3 streams of water and let soak in 1.5 cups of water for one hour.
  • In a pot with heavy bottom, pour the milk and let come to a boil.Once boiling,reduce the heat to low, drain the rice and tip into the pot.Tip in the crushed foxnuts also along with rice.
  • Cook the milk and rice mixture on low heat for about 30-40 minutes on low heat stirring at intervals, so that the rice does not stick to the bottom.
  • Cook until rice is soft and broken and milk has reduced to about half the quantity and is thick.
  • Add chopped almonds,raisins and cardamom powder and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for about 5-8 minutes to cool down a bit.
  • Stir in the granulated sugar and kewra water. Make sure that when you add the sugar the pudding is not very hot.
  • Serve garnished with almonds or any nuts of choice.

Variations:

  • You can use rose water in place of kewra water.
  • This pudding can be prepared with foxnuts only also.

Enjoy!