I perfected this recipe in my kitchen and have fond memories of many Sunday lunches when friends came over and we had great times over food and drinks. The basic recipe is of Mughlai lamb ( Mutton) curry with addition of Dark Rum. The dish is rich and full of aromatic spices which is a specialty of Mughlai cooking. Although Mughlai preparations can be eaten all over India but it is the specialty of the North India. This is not a dish for calorie conscious but for those who relish rich food a perfect dish for a Sunday meal on a cold winter day. Hope you will enjoy it as much I do. So, here is the recipe for all you meat lovers.
Mutton (Lamb Meat) – 1 kg ( shoulder of lamb and front quarter provides the best meat) Cut into small pieces
Yogurt – 1 cup (Beaten)
For Gravy –
Onions – 3 large (cut very fine)
Ginger – 1 inch (grated or finely chopped)
Garlic – 6 pods (finely chopped or grated)
Tomatoes – 5 Large (grated)
Black cardamom – 3
Green cardamom – 4
Cinnamon stick – ½ inch
Clove – 4
Black pepper corn – 5 -6
Whole red chilies – 4
Bay leaf – 1
Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Asafoetida – 2 pinch
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon (as per taste)
Fresh ground coriander seed powder – 4 tablespoon
Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
(You can put first 7 spices in a small muslin pouch, tie it and drop it in the gravy or use them as it is)
Desi Ghee – ¼ cup (clarified butter)
Dark rum – 60ml
For Garnish – Fresh green Coriander – half cup ( finely chopped)
Marinade the lamb pieces by smearing yogurt and a little salt over them. Cover with cling foil and keep aside.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan
Add all the whole spices (if using the pouch, just add cumin seeds and asafoetida)
Once the spices crackle add chopped onions and salt. (Fine chopping gives a different texture and flavor than grated. Adding salt will help the onions to become crisp brown. Indian food is all about passion and the more you give it time and patience the better it going to be)
Keep the flame on medium and stir onions till translucent.
Add garlic and ginger at this point. (It is important to follow steps. At what point a certain ingredient is added changes the taste of the dish)
Fry them till golden brown then add the red chili powder and half a cup of water so the chili powder doesn’t burn, adding chili at this point with give the gravy a good color.
When the water is reduced and the mixture becomes browner add the powdered spices and mix well. The aroma will tell you when they have blended well.
At this point add grated tomatoes. I don’t puree them, grating gives a better color.
Keep the flame on high and stir the mixture till the oil starts leaving the sides.
Once the mixture is properly done add one cup water. (It you are using spice pouch, add it now)
Lower the flame and let it simmer till nicely browned and reduced to thick paste
Add the lamb pieces and raise the flame to high.
Keep stirring till all the pieces are fully covered in the paste.
Roast the meat in the gravy till oil starts to separate and the mutton is nicely done.
Check with a fork or knife to see if it’s become a bit soft. It should be half done by now.
Add enough water to cover the lamb pieces completely.
Check salt and add more if needed.
Add dark rum at this point and keep the flame high.
I use Old Monk but you can use any dark rum. Rum is a tenderizer also and it gives a distinct flavor to the curry. You can use up to 120 ml of rum depending on taste.
Turn the flame to slow now and cover the pan with a lid.
Let the curry cook on slow flame till the lamb pieces are soft and break on touching.
I make thick gravy but you can change the consistency according to taste.
Once done, stir in half of the chopped fresh coriander.
Take out the aromatic mutton curry in a serving dish and garnish with the remaining fresh coriander
Serve hot with Nan, Parathas, Roomali Rori, missi roti or rice.