Monday, January 26, 2015

Robibarer Maangsher Jhol (The Sunday Mutton Curry)

This time Poush Sankranti went by and I was....not able to make anything. The scenario at the office was so chaotic that I just did not get any time at all.

This extended weekend came as a breather and the hubby-man proposed that I should cook something delicious and typically Bengali. So what better than the Robibarer Maangsher jhol.

This maangsher jhol evokes memories of my childhood. In those days, Sunday breakfast was always luchi torkari and the star attraction of lunch had to be the quintessential mutton curry. My mom use to cook it lovingly and while it was being cooked our house would be filled with the fragrance of this aromatic jhol. Me and my grand-dad used to watch an episode of Star Trek and wait with bated breath for the call for lunch.

This mutton curry with steaming hot rice and a slice of lime was pure heaven.....mmmmm! After this sumptuous lunch the elders would retire for the cursory post-lunch nap and I would curl up with a story book. As years went by, this lovely mutton jhol was banished from our house because my grandma stopped eating mutton and so did my Dad because of cholesterol problems. Though my mom used to whip up a lovely chicken curry instead...but Maangsher jhol is Maangsher jhol as every Bengali knows.

My hubby-man, however, relishes mutton no end. After having the mutton curry with rice, he loves to have a bowl-ful of just the "jhol"! So post-marriage, I took all the pains to learn to cook mutton. And whip up a mean koshano maangsher jhol! 

Don't be judgemental by the reddish colour of this jhol. Though the original recipe calls for a paste of green chillies but I opted out of it because my seven-year-old was supposed to have it. This beautiful color of the jhol is due to the presence of tomatoes and the fact that the masala has been stir-fried for a long time. In Bengali, this is known as "koshano". This stir-frying technique takes a good part of an hour but brings out the true flavour of the mutton and lends this lovely reddish-brown color.

Here is my recipe:


(Recipe for four people)
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Mutton: 450 grams (Cut into cubes)
Onions: 2 (chopped into long slices)
Onion paste: 3 tablespoon
Tomatoes: 2 (cut into pieces)
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 teaspoons
Green chilli paste: 1 teaspoon (optional)
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 1/4th teaspoon
Curd/yoghurt: 1/4 th cup
Mustard oil: 3 tablespoon
Potatoes: 3 big (peeled and cut into half)
Sugar: 1/2 teaspoon
Salt: to taste

For tempering:
Bay leaf: 1
Whole garam masala (two cloves, two green elaichis, a stick of cardamom): ground to dry powder


1. First you need to do the preparation. Chop the onions, tomatoes and potatoes. Next, heat mustard oil in a wok and fry the potatoes till they have reddish brown specks on them. Drain and keep aside. In a big bowl, take the mutton pieces, curd, onion paste, ginger-garlic paste, salt and 2 teaspoon of mustard oil. You can also add a teaspoon of green chilli paste to this marinade (optional). Mix well and keep the meat marinated for 1 and half hours.

2. Now, heat mustard oil in a pan (about 3 tablespoons) and add the powdered whole garam masala and bay leaf and sugar. Add the chopped onions and fry till the onions turn pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry some more. Add turmeric powder and chilli powder. Add the meat along with the marinade and the fried potatoes. Fry and mix the masala with the meat.
3. Keep a pan of hot water ready because you need to use it for stir-frying the masala. 
4. Now add 2 ladle-full of hot water to the meat in the wok and stir-fry. Cover and keep to simmer over medium heat.
5. After 2-3 minutes, remove the cover and check the meat. The masala will stick to the bottom of the pan. Don't panic. Add two more ladles of hot water to the meat and fry some more.

6. Repeat this process of stir-frying and adding hot water till the meat takes on a dark-brown colour. This will take the better part of an hour so be patient. Your aromatic meat will be worth the effort.

7. Once the meat turns dark-brown, remove the wok from the flame. Pour the entire contents into a pressure cooker and pour enough hot water to cover the meat. Attach the cover of the pressure cooker and let the steam build to one whistle. (After adding the hot water in the pressure cooker, add more salt to taste, if desired.)
8. After one whistle, lower the flame to simmer. Let the meat be on simmer for next 20 minutes.
9. Turn off the gas and let the steam escape on its own.
10. Open the pressure cooker. Your steaming hot, aromatic mutton curry is ready. Pour the entire contents into a large bowl and garnish with a teaspoon of ghee.

Serve hot with steamed white rice. Here is the beauty!

No comments:

Post a Comment