"Mutton is a very expensive meat and way out of the common man's pocket", I explained.
"Especially out of the stingy and common woman's pocket", I thought to myself.
"When I get a salary hike, I'll share the recipe with you", I promised.
How naive I was! Yes, I did get some hikes, but a graph between my hikes and the cost of living would have made a beautiful (and slightly sad and comical) example for the exponential function (Remember, x raised to y?). (And yes, I was the studious kind at school, so the reference to graphs.)
Anyway, I have come to terms with life and all the tricks that god plays on us. And decided to treat myself once in a while even if that means I have to later deal with the guilt of calories consumed and money lost. In keeping with my new found wisdom, I burned my purse over some mutton and found solace in spicy mutton roganjosh.
Rogan Josh, an aromatic mutton dish, is a staple of Kashmiri cuisine. It consists of lamb cooked in a yogurt and almond base along with a whole lot of spices including Kashmiri dried chilies which give it a deep red colour. The recipe does take some time and effort but it is totally worth it.
(Source: Anjum Anand - I Love Curry)
8 green cardamom pods
A 5cm cinnamon stick
2 tsp cumin seeds
8 Kashmiri dried chilies (or Kashmiri chili powder, to taste)
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
600 gram lamb or mutton, cut into large bone-in cubes
300 grams full-fat yogurt, beaten with a fork
1 tablespoon coriander powder
To taste, salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
2 tablespoon ground almonds
1 cup hot water
Handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
Dry roast cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, dried chilies and bay leaves till aromatic. Tip into a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
Heat oil in a large non stick pan. Brown the mutton over high flame; it should take ten minutes. Add ginger and garlic pastes and cook over medium flame stirring every now and then till oil looks clear.
Add half the yogurt and cook over medium high heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring briskly so that the yogurt is absorbed into the meat. Pour in remaining yogurt and continue stirring as before. Once the curry starts boiling, simmer, until the liquid in the pan has reduced by around one-third. Now toss in the ground spices, coriander powder, salt and cook, stirring for a few more minutes.
Mix in hot water and cover and cook on a low flame for 30-40 minutes until the meat is tender. You may need to add some water every now and then if the sauce appears to be drying out.
Finally, add pepper powder, fennel seed powder and ground almonds. Adjust seasoning and sprinkle over coriander leaves. Serve with rice or roti.
Make sure you saute the meat well after you add the ground spices so that spices do not taste raw.
You can add a touch of garam masala at the end, but I skipped this since I felt the curry had enough of spices already.
You surely will need to take a bath after cooking because your body and hair is going to smell strongly of the curry!