Recipes of popular Bengali dishes fresh from the kitchen

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Main Ingredients:
1 kg mutton/lamb (with bone) cut into pieces; 200 gm yogurt; 2 big-sized onions chopped; 11/2  tsp ginger paste; 21/2 tsp garlic paste; 2 big-sized potatoes cut into half each (total 4 pieces); 4 green chillies; 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter).



Spices:
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp bengali paanchforon (fenugreek seed, fennel seed, whole cumin, kalonji and radhuni)
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp mace powder (javitri)
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder (jaaifol)
  • ½ tsp bengali garam masala powder (cinnamon, cardamom and clove)
  • 11/2  tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste.

Steps:
  1. Marinate the mutton with yogurt, ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp mace powder and ½ tsp nutmeg powder. Take it in a airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (8 hours will be the best for marination).
  2. Heat oil (approx 2 tbsp) in a pan. Fry the potato pieces till golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Temper the same oil with bay leaves, cinnamon stick, 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom and 4 cloves.
  4. When an aroma of the spices comes out, add the chopped onion and fry till they become translucent and dark brown.
  5. Add the mutton and mix well. [cook in low flame].
  6. Add salt, sugar and turmeric powder. Stir well.
  7. Cook it in low flame for 45 minutes. [Note: whenever the curry sticks at the bottom of the pan , scrape it off and add ½ cup of warm water].
  8. In the meantime, take another pan and temper oil with paanchforon.
  9. When the spices start to splutter, add ginger and garlic paste and fry for 2 minutes.
  10. Add ½ tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp chili powder, some salt and sugar. Fry for a minute.
  11. Now add it to the curry and mix well. [Note: add this after 45 minutes of slow cooking].
  12. Cook it in low flame for another 45 minutes in the same way.
  13. After 90 minutes of slow cooking (now the mutton should get darker and tender), add the fried potatoes and warm water for the gravy (the quantity of water depends on your desire i.e. how thick you want the gravy to be).
  14. Adjust the taste of salt and sugar.
  15. Add the green chilies.
  16. Cover and let it be cooked on medium heat until the potatoes and the mutton are done. [Note: the mutton should be soft enough so that you can tear each piece using your fingers.]
  17. Open the lid, add ghee and garam masala powder.
  18. Give it the final stir and turn off the heat.
  19. Serve with luchi (puri), paratha pulau or plain rice.

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