Mutton Badam Pasanda

Pasanda is a Mughlai dish of meat in rich gravy. Raw meat, coated with yogurt and few spice seasonings, cooks itself in ‘dum’ i.e. in a closed vessel on low heat. The meat could be any of mutton, beef or chicken. And whenever almond nuts are used in the preparation; it is called ‘Badam Pasanda’.

As a Bengali I just love to eat any preparation of mutton. Here goat meat is generally known to us as Mutton. But unfortunately I don’t find goat meat here in Europe, so as an alternative, have to be content with Lamb meat. In fact this time I prepared the dish with lamb meat, which otherwise can well be replaced with mutton or chicken, following the same recipe.

As we all know “Mughlai food” is pretty rich in content, one should not have it just regularly. However during festive season, we can let our daily food habit break loose and compromise a bit. So we can enjoy ‘Mutton Badam Pasanda’ at our home during Durga Puja and perhaps either ‘saptami’ or ‘nabami’ would be ideal for it. 🙂

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Mutton Badam Pasanda

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Boneless pieces of mutton – 400 gm.
  2. Garlic paste – 1 tbspoon
  3. Brown onion or Beresta out of 1 medium size onion
  4. Plain yogurt – 250gm.
  5. Melted Ghee/Clarified Butter – 3½ tbspoon
  6. Red chilli powder – 1½ teaspoon (adjust according to your taste)
  7. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  8. Cumin powder – ½ tbspoon
  9. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  10. Clove – 2-3
  11. Cardamom – 2-3 pods
  12. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  13. Almond flake/slice – 2 tbspoon + extra for garnishing
  14. Salt to taste

Procedure :

Mix together the meat, garlic paste, yogurt, chilli powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, sugar, cloves, cardamom and ghee in a kadai or heavy bottomed frying pan.

Meat mixture

Meat mixture

Put the kadai on gas over very low flame and cover it with a lid. Let the meat cook on ‘dum’ i.e. in air tight condition on low heat. There is no need to add water, the meat will cook by yogurt, ghee and the water released by itself.

Grind the brown onion into a fine dust.

As the meat gets cooked (it took more than one hour for me) add brown onion powder, garam masala powder, almond flakes and salt. Give it a good stir and again let it cook for another 4-5 minutes putting the lid of the pan.

Now transfer the meat in a serving bowl and garnish with almond flakes.

It will be best served with ‘rumali roti’ (the thinnest bread in the world)  in my opinion. But making ‘rumali roti’ is not the easiest task and I didn’t try it at home yet. So I served mutton badam pasanda with Misti Pulao. It will be equally enjoyable with roti, paratha or puri.

Mutton badam pasanda with misti pulao

Mutton badam pasanda with misti pulao

Note :

  1. You can use whole almonds instead of flakes. Just peel and boil the almonds before using. I have almond flakes in my stock so I used that.
  2. Mutton takes time to get cooked. In order to cook it faster marinate it with green papaya paste overnight. Green papaya paste works as a natural meat tenderizer.
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Lamb Curry

Mutton curry over Sunday lunch is the dearest thing on earth for the Bengali. It features right on top of their list of coveted foods for years. However, outside India, mutton is not the easiest meat to get and one has no choice but to replace it by lamb while following the same recipe. Here I am sharing the traditional mutton recipe which my mother used to follow, that I watched while growing up and still vivid in memory.

Delicious Lamb curry

Delicious Lamb curry

Ingredients to serve 4 to 5 :

  1. Lamb (cut into medium size pieces) – 500 gm.
  2. Potato (medium size) – 4
  3. Finely chopped tomato (large) – ½
  4. Onion (large) – 2
  5. Garlic – 2 to 3 big cloves
  6. Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
  7. Plain yogurt – 2 tbspoon
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  10. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Nutmeg powder –  ½ teaspoon
  12. Whole garam masala
  13. Mace or Javitri – ¼ teaspoon
  14. Bay leaf – 2
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Cooking oil (preferably mustard oil)

Procedure :

Marinate the meat with salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, nutmeg powder, bay leaves, tomato, yogurt, ginger paste and 1½ tbspoon of oil for at least 2 hours (for best result marinate it overnight).

Marinated Lamb

Marinated Lamb

Peel the skin of the potatoes and cut them each into 2 halves. Finely slice the onions and crush the garlic. Take the whole garam masala as shown in the picture below or look for the ingredients of garam masala under “Useful Supplementary” tab.

Ingredients for lamb curry

Ingredients for lamb curry

Slightly fry the potatoes with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.

Heat 2 tbspoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add mace, whole garam masala spices and saute them till nice aroma comes out. Then add crushed garlic and fry till light brown. Throw the onions into it and fry till it becomes brown. Now add the marinated lamb and cook very well until oil comes out from the mixture, add the half fried potatoes in mid way. Now pour water as needed, also add salt if needed. Let the mixture boil. Now cover it with the lid on and cook over medium heat till the meat becomes tender. Lamb takes longer time to cook, often more than one and half hour, so keep patience. After the wait, long but worthy, you are ready to serve the delicious lamb curry. Serve it with rice or chapati.

Lamb curry with Rice

Lamb curry with Rice

Note : I follow the same recipe with chicken. You can do as well. 🙂

Chicken Kachchi Biryani

Biryani is sheer delight to non-vegetarians, known for its brilliant taste and amazing flavour, across the sub-continent. It has its rich tradition, originated somewhere in middle-east, traveled miles, loved by millions and reached far end of the globe. They say that preparing Biryani is a meticulous job, which needs an eye of an expert, precision of a chemist and experience of decades. Without having any of these virtues at their minimal, I give here a simple recipe of Biryani, which can be prepared at your own kitchen, still bearing the good old flavour of traditional dum Biryani.

Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Chicken (cut into 5 or 6 large pieces) – 600 gm.
  2. Basmati rice (good quality) –  1½ cups
  3. Potato ( large) – 2
  4. Grated ginger & garlic – 1½ tbspoon
  5. Biryani masala – 1 tbspoon
  6. Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  7. White pepper powder (samorich) – ½ teaspoon
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Milk powder  – 1 tbspoon
  10. Cinnamon stick – 1½ inch
  11. Green cardamom – 4
  12. Caraway seed (sajeera) – ½ teaspoon
  13. Plain yogurt – ½ cup
  14. Fried brown onion or “beresta” – ½ cup
  15. Ghee – 3 tbspoon (for recipe see under “Useful Supplementary” tab)
  16. Cooking oil – 2 tbspoon
  17. Kewra water – 1 tbspoon
  18. Saffron – 3 to 4 strands
  19. Milk – 1 tbspoon
  20. Yellow food colour (optional)
  21. Salt to taste
  22. Wheat flour – 1 cup

Procedure :

Try to take the meat twice as much as rice.

To prepare “Biryani masala” at home see the ingredients in the page Biryani Masala under the tab “Useful Supplementary”, otherwise you can use those available in the market.

Put the grated ginger and garlic in ¼ cup of water, let them soak for 10 minutes and then extract the juice out of these. Marinate the chicken with salt, “biryani masala”, chilli powder, white pepper powder, yogurt, milk powder, ½ tbspoon “kewra water”, the juice of ginger & garlic and cooking oil for minimum 2 hours. (For best result marinate the chicken overnight).

Put the saffron strands in 1 tbspoon of milk and let it soak for few minutes.

Make a soft dough by wheat flour and water.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into two halves, coat with salt and turmeric powder and boil them till half-cooked. (I cooked them in microwave and it takes around 8 minutes. You can also fry them in oil.)

Now spread the chicken in a heavy bottomed pan or preferably in a “Handi” (a deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel) greased with 1 tbspoon of ghee and add ½ cup of hot water, sprinkle half of the fried brown onion or “beresta” (look for the recipe under the tab “Useful Supplementary”, Beresta) on the top.

Soak the rice in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Put the cinnamon stick, green cardamom and caraway seeds together in a clean cloth and tie it up well like a small bag. Boil sufficient amount of water in a large pan, add salt (around 3 teaspoon) to it and immerse the cloth bag containing the spices. Then add the rice to this water.

Cook the rice till 50% (take one grain of rice and press from the middle; if it breaks then it is cooked half) and then put the gas on low (don’t put the gas off).

Using a sifter ladle (chanta) take half of this semi-cooked rice from the pan and spread over the meat to make 1st layer of rice. Sprinkle over the remaining fried brown onion or “beresta” and place the potatoes nicely. Also spread half of the saffron milk, 1 tbspoon of ghee and few drops of kewra water.

Let the remaining rice to cook for few more minutes until it is done up to 70%. Again using the sifter ladle spread it on the top of 1st layer of rice.

Spread the remaining kewra water, ghee, saffron milk, a pinch of food colour over the rice. Put the lid of the pot. Seal the pot with dough to make it air tight. Now put a “tawa” on medium flame and keep the sealed pot containing the meat & rice over it, cook for 10 minutes and then put the flame on low. Cook for approx. another 30 minutes. The rich smell, a perfect blend of meat and rice with spices, coming out of the container will let you know that your Biryani is all cooked and ready to serve.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANote :

  1. You can also add boiled egg to your biryani if you like. Place them with the potatoes between the layer of two rices.
  2. You can also add 1 tbspoon of rose water along with kewra water . I didn’t have that so I skipped it.

Pulao with safed murgh

Sunday lunch is always a luxury to food lovers. Nothing beats the combination of Pulao, the delicate rice dish, with the spicy curried meat for that. In fact, the combination gets really unique when you put a slightly different preparation of meat with Pulao. Today, I am giving the recipe of white chicken which takes a bit long to make, but I hope, you can take your Sunday time out to prepare it. The pulao recipe is completely in Bengali style with is best prepared with “Gobindo bhog” rice. As it is not available outside India I prepared it with basmati rice. Enjoy 🙂

Pulao with Safed Murgh

Pulao with Safed Murgh

Ingredients to serve 4 :

For White Chicken

    1. Chicken – 600 gms.
    2. Plain yogurt – 250 gms.
    3. Ginger paste – 2 teaspoon
    4. Garlic paste – 1 tbspoon
    5. Onion(large) – 2
    6. White pepper powder (Samorich) – 1 tbspoon
    7. Kabab Chini – 3 to 4 seeds
    8. Star Anise – 1 seed
    9. Mace (Javitri) – ¼ teaspoon
    10. Cashew nuts – ¼ cup
    11. poppy seeds – 1 tbspoon
    12. Fresh Cream – ½ cup
    13. sugar – ½ tbspoon
    14. Salt to taste
    15. cooking oil

For Pulao

    1. Basmati rice as required – say 2 cups
    2. warm water – 4 cups
    3. Ghee – 2 tbspoon
    4. Yellow food colour or Turmeric powder
    5. Whole garam masala (Cinnamon stick – 1 inch, Cloves – 5, Green Cardamom – 5)
    6. Bay leaves – 2
    7. Cashew Nuts + Raisins –  ½ cup
    8. Salt & Sugar to taste

Procedure :

White Chicken

Cut the chicken into pieces according to your preference. Marinate the chicken with salt, white pepper powder, ginger & garlic paste and 200 gm. of yogurt for 1 hour.

Roast kabab chini, star anise and mace in a frying pan and then grind the mixture till it gets a half dust texture.

Soak the cashew nuts into warm water and prepare a paste of them. Similarly make a paste of poppy seeds.

Cut the onions into thin slices. In a deep pan, heat sufficient amount of oil until it is almost smoking. Reduce the heat to medium, and wait about 30 seconds. Add the onions a few at a time and deep-fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Transfer the onions onto a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Continue until all the onions have been fried.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a large pan. Add the dry half dust spice mixture to it and saute for a while. Then add the marinated chicken into the pan and cook until oil comes out of it. Add required salt, sugar and 1½ cup of water. Now cover the pan with a lid and let it cook till the chicken becomes tender. Then add the remaining yogurt, cashew nut & poppy-seed paste, 2/3 of the fried onion or barista and fresh cream. Put the flame on low and let it cook for another 5 – 7 minutes with the lid on. Switch the gas off and garnish with the remaining barista. You can also serve this chicken with Roti/Paratha.

Safed Murgh

Safed Murgh

Pulao

Wash the rice and let it soak for 30 min. in water. Then drain it out and spread over a large plate. Add 1 or 2 drops of yellow food colour or ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and mix it with the rice very well. Now let it dry.

Heat a heavy bottom pot on medium flame. Add ghee, let it melt, then add the whole garam masala and bey leaves, saute them for a while. After that add the cashew nuts and raisins, fry them lightly and then add the coloured rice. Fry well the rice with dry fruits and add warm water to it (take water twice as much as rice) followed by adding salt and sugar as per your test. Cover the pot and let the rice cook on low flame. Put the gas off when the rice is completely cooked and all of water dries out. Don’t over cook the rice otherwise it may get burnt at the bottom.

Misti Pulao

Misti Pulao