Monday, June 20, 2011

Oriya Mutton Kasha

In almost all oriya families, there is something common about sunday lunch menu - goat curry or lamb curry in spicy gravy with large chunks of potatoes in it :) How it reminds me of my early childhood sundays, my father used to get the mutton and my mother used to cook it for us. A discussion that always followed... how good the quality of the mutton was! My favorite part of the curry was the mutton flavored sauce and potatoes in it.
Being an oriya, my husband, as expected, loves mutton curry. I do cook it twice every month and relish the sauce, potatoes and liver pieces.

Talking about mutton being cooked in oriya families, one of the most loved mutton dish is mutton kassa. It is a dry mutton recipe with almost the same ingredients as the curry but more spicier.... with loads of onions in it. Last sunday, i made mutton kassa and we loved it.

If the picture seems enticing, follow the recipe below to make it.


Mutton (Goat meat) cut into medium sized pieces - 750 gms
Mustard oil - 3 table spoon
Onion - 1 large cut in julienne way
Tomatoes - 1.5 large sized, cut in julienne way
Bay leaves - 2 small or 1 big
Cayenne pepper powder/ Chili powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1.5 tsp
Green chile - 1/2 (depending on how hot you want it to be)
Green cardamon - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1
Cloves - 3
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing

For ginger- garlic paste,
4-5 cloves of garlic
2'' ginger
1/2 medium onion, chopped

For marination,
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
lemon juice - 2/3 tsp

For ground garam masala,
Black pepper corns - 8
Cloves - 5
Green Cardamon - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1''


First, wash the mutton pieces well and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, in a bowl add the mutton and the the ingredients listed for marination. Mix well and marinate at least for an hour.

Meanwhile, make the ginger-garlic paste by coarsely grinding the ginger, garlic and onions together. It is optional add red chile to this mixture while grinding. It depends on how hot you want the curry to be and how hot the chiles are. The chiles i get are very mild, sometimes i land up added 4 and yet no effect!

Heat the mustard oil in the pressure cooker. i use a pressure cooker for mere convenience. You can choose to cook it on a work or a non stick heavy bottomed pan, but it will take much longer to cook that way.
Add the mutton pieces to the heated oil. This is being done just to remove extra water in the mutton pieces. Cook it on medium-high heat, taking care not to burn the meat but lightly brown it on the surface. When done remove it from the vessel and keep aside.

To the heated oil left in the vessel, add bay leaves and onions. When the onions start turning transparent add the giner-garlic paste, chili powder and turmeric powder. Reduce heat to low-medium in order to prevent burning and keep stirring if the onion starts clinging to the vessel.
When the raw smell is gone and the oils starts leaving the mixture, add the chopped tomatoes, cumin powder and salt. cook it till the tomatoes are mushy and is mixed with the onion mixture.

Add the lightly fried mutton pieces to the mixture. Add whole garam masala, that is - Green Cardamon, Cloves and Cinnamon stick. Stir and cook till the time the mixtures blends into the mutton pieces. say 10 mins.Then add split green chile.

If using a pressure cooker, add just enough water to cook the mutton, i added 1/2 cup water. Close the pressure cooker lid and wait for 1 whistle on high flame. It really depends on the quality of the mutton, the number of whistles required to cook the mutton. The better the quality the lesser the time. I guess you'll have to depend on experimentation to know the number of whistle the mutton needs to be cooked. Since the mutton we get cooks fast, to avoid the mutton getting mushy, i let the steam out of the pressure cooker after the first whistle. At this stage we want the mutton to be 90% done.

If you are using a wok keep adding enough water at intervals and stirring, to avoid the mutton sticking to the wok surface.

Add the grounded garam masala to the curry and let the mutton cook on low heat till the time it is completely done and the water evaporates. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Note: To enhance taste add garam masala grounded at home. To make garam masala at home ground the ingretients listed for garam masala together and store for future use.