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Nabamir Mutton - Priyanka Chakraborty

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The other day my son came back with a little book from his school which talked a bit about the 5 senses we humans are gifted with.

 While I was driving him back as he entertained me with his non -stop rants and occasional self innovated bollywood songs I just happened to gaze at the white fluffy clouds and it was sense of sight which took me back to those lovely days of Pujo celebration back home.

 This was exactly how the skies used to look... and along with the smell of the Shiuli flowers and the beat of the dhak  it was the one festival we Bengalis would wait eagerly every year for it is the  return of the Ma Durga and the rejoicing celebration of good over evil.  As we would deck up in our whatever finery we had during those days... mind you  those were not days of branded clothes  and having a couple of new dresses were considered a luxury considering the strict upbringing we were nurtured in. I would tag along behind my Ma for our parar pujo and making our way through a crowd of pretty Aunties and their little ones we would wait for our turn for “Onjoli” (Holy offering of flowers to the God).  Folklore says the Ninth day is one of the most auspicious days because this is the day when Durga Devi emerged victorious against the evil demon Asura.  As the priest with the pot belly and the ”gamcha” (towel) on his shoulders would hand us out the flowers for Onjoli ..he would say “Ki go khukumoni  koto boro hoe gecho”(Hey little girl, you are growing up)... It was kind of reserved phrase that the priest uncle would say every year and I would reply “eito”(just a word to acknowledge)...little realising that someday I would have to really grow out from that lovely world and have a home away from home.

After Pujo used to get over, I would line up for the next event which according to me was the most enticing because it had do with my sense of taste, smell and touch. This was the usual after Pujo lunch party held during our parar Pujo(community celebration of Pujo) where we would sit on the wooden chairs by the long benches where food would be served by the ladlefuls. Usually we would be greeted by the humble luchi and cholar dal  giving way to  mishti pulao and the oh so lovely mutton curry and a sweet tangy chatni. The mutton curry is the dish which used to be my centre of attention, the aroma and the looks and the velvety touch of the meat was so heavenly... whenever time and effort permits I try to conjure something similar...and I am not ashamed to say that mine does not even come close to what memory has saved in my heart and soul.

As the mind drifted away I was honked by the car behind me....”back to reality” I said as I zoomed on the gas..life has moved on I for sure, but these memories shall remain forever.

Now on to the recipe: The traditional recipe is sans onion garlic, mine does have both in it

 Now on to the recipe:

Ingredients:

Goat Meat: 1 kg

2 medium potatoes quartered

 Marinating ingredients:

Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon

Vinegar: 3 teaspoons

Turmeric: 1 teaspoon

Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste

Mustard oil: ¼ cup

Garam masala: ¼ teaspoon

 Masala Paste: (use minimum water to grind the following)

2 large onions

3 green chillis

1 whole pod of garlic

Ginger 2 inch piece

Jeera ½ teaspoon

 Kacha gorom moshla: (use minimum water to grind the following)

2 elaichi

2 cloves

I small piece cinnamon

 Marinate the goat meat pieces with the items listed under “Marinating Ingredients” and you can leave it overnight in the fridge or let it sit for 3-4 hours at least.

Heat a bit of mustard oil (very little would do as oil has been used for marinating already) in a wok and add a chopped onion. Add sugar and salt to the onion and when its starts getting brown add the quartered potatoes. Once the potatoes start getting translucent remove them from oil and then add the marinated goat meat and turn the heat on high. This is necessary to braise the goat meat to lock in the juices. Once the meat has browned add the Masala paste made with ingredients listed under” Masala Paste”, and turn the heat to medium and let the “koshano”(process of slow cooking) begin. Take care not to burn the Masala and stir the Masala meat mix every 10 minutes to cook evenly. Once the oil starts leaving the sides (approximately after 45 mins) add 2 cups of warm water and transfer the whole mix to a pressure cooker. Add the potatoes at this stage and re adjust seasonings.

I have a traditional Hawkins pressure cooker where I let this mix cook on medium heat and allow for 10 whistles. Please adjust cooking time according to you pressure cooker settings.

Once the pressure releases add the kacha gorom moshla (paste made with ingredients listed under Kacha gorom moshla), a few green chillis and close the lid until ready to serve.

Serve with fluffed up Basmati rice… the health conscious can go for rotis or phulkas.

 

 

 

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