Mutton Rezala (you can use Venison, Desi Murga as well)
One leg of mutton, lamb, in one inch cubes
A : Marinade :
1. One cup Fried onions. The packaged stuff works best
2. 4 Green cardamom, 02 black cardamom, 5 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon stick, one javitri, crushed pepper corns 7 or 8, one tea spoon of saunf (aniseed). Dry roast these spices on a tava. When roasted and fragrant, grind to a powder.\
3. Plain yogurt. Try the packaged greek yogurt, but otherwise get the thick yogurt.
4. One bunch of fresh coriander leaves
5. About 20 mint leaves. Optional
6. One one inch piece of fresh ginger & 6-7 cloves of fresh garlic.
7. 15 cashew nuts. boil the cashewnuts in the water and grind to a smooth paste
8. Salt to taste.
Add some oil or ghee to the mutton and coat it well. This helps in the next process. Now add the ground spices and salt to the mutton and rub in with fingers. It will coat the mutton well. Your outdoor kitchen will get fragrant
. Now in the pestle or food processor, add the fried onions, fresh coriander, the ginger, garlic, the mint leaves and some water and create a fine paste. Add this to the mutton and massage with your hands. This will now coat the mutton in the masala. At this stage, you will have no choice but to stick in a finger and taste the marinade....it will smell so good
Now whisk 2 cups of the yogurt with a fork. Add some salt to it. The yogurt will be smooth and aerated and add it to the marinade. Using your hands mix well to coat the mutton.
Finally add the cashew nut paste. Check seasoning in the marinade.
Leave to rest for an hour if you have the time.
B. Cooking :
1. 2 onions & 3 or 4 green chillies put in the blender and get a smooth paste. You can add more chillies if you like it hotter.
2. 6 cloves of garlic, crushed & an inch of ginger, cut in fine juliennes
3. Whole Masala : 1 black cardamom, 4 green cardamom, 2 bay leaves, 5 cloves, 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 tsp shahi jeera (optional)
4. Masala paste : In a bowl, add 2 tea spoons of Coriander powder, 1 tsp of cumin powder, 2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Add a little water and make a paste.
Cooking Process :
Take a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker (your choice...Pressure cooker is quicker).
Add enough ghee (nothing else will do) so that the entire base of pan gets covered and immediately add all the whole masalas. Let the masala get broiled as the oil heats up. Then, once the oil is fragrant and hot, add the onion & green chilli paste. Fry till the onion loses its raw smell. Add the garlic and ginger juliennes & some salt. Fry till the fat leaves the masala.
At this time, remove all mutton pieces from the marinade and add to the pan. Keep the marinade. it will be used later.
Fry the mutton. it will sear first and then it will lose some of its water. fry till all the water has evaporated. by now your kitchen would be full of the aroma of the rezala.
Add the masala paste to the mutton now. Fry some more till the fat leaves the masala and till you feel that the mutton has ben fried just enough. Dont burn the masala.
At this stage, add the rest of the marinade to the pan. Add some warm water as well to cover the meat and the right consistency of your sauce, as you would like it. Bring to boil.
Now, you can pressure cook it or let simmer in the lowest flame for 50 minutes. If you must pressure cook, please pressure cook at the lowest flame. There will be no whistles, but you can switch off the flame after 18 to 20 minutes and let the cooker lose steam by itself. The meat continues to cook at this time, even without the flame. This will take 15 minutes. I assure you that this is the best way to cook the meat.
After you have removed the lid, taste for seasoning. By now your neighbours have rung the bell, asking you if they can join you for dinner
Let the mutton rest for 15 minutes.
Serve with fragrant basmati or crisp parathas
Tip : If you forget to add the javitri, the magic is not going to happen
Let me know how it turned out
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