Saturday, June 1, 2013

Posto-r Mangsho / Mutton in poppy seed gravy

For a long time I have been thinking of doing this post. But never could take time out enough to write this. May be because it is one of my favourite dishes and I wants to allot a long time to write it.

I remember when we were kids, Posto-r mangsho would be a delicacy. My Mom would prepare it especially during Summer when it will be too hot to eat anything that is too rich and not good enough for digestion. Made in a simple stew or rezala kind of gravy, this awesome dish would always make my mouth water.

My Grandmom was a great cook. Born and brought up in North India (Almora, Mussori, Nainital and Allahabad), my Grandmom knew, Continental cuisines, Lucknowee delicacies and of course Bengali dishes. This particular dish was taught to my Mom by my Granny and passed it on to us as well.

This is actually a Bengali version of Lucknowee dish Mutton Rezala with a Bengali twist.

So here we go…

  • Mutton – 1 kg (try to get that fatty kind)
  • Hung Curd – 400 grams ( water completely drained)
  • Onion – 3 large pureed and 4 whole
  • Raw papaya pulp - half cup
  • Poppy seeds – 200 grams (keep one tablespoon separate and rest make a fine paste)
  • Dry red chillies – 4 to 5
  • Whole pepper corns – 1 tablespoon
  • Pure ghee –1/2 cup
  • Salt, Sugar to taste
  • Green chillies – cut in small pieces
  • Garlic paste – 3 tablespoon (I love the taste of garlic so I put more, you can put as per your taste)
  • Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  • Whole garam masala – Star anise, Cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks (1-2 each)
  • Potatoes – as mentioned earlier, bongs can’t live without potatoes and mutton is unthinkable without them. So I add 5 potatoes cut in halves. I take big ones, you can take as per your choice or availability.

I am taking the easier route. However I will be sharing with you both the easy way to cook it and the harder way to cook it. However, no matter what process you follow, you will have to marinate the mutton first for 3 to 4 hours.

Take a bowl. Clean the mutton thoroughly under normal water and pat dry with paper towel. Add salt, sugar, hung curd, raw papaya pulp, half portion of ginger-garlic paste and half cup ghee and mix it together. Close the bowl with a cling wrap and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours. Make sure you bring the marinated mutton to room temperature for before cooking. This will soften the mutton and bring down the cooking time.

Cooking in the Pressure cooker:
Take a big pressure cooker. Add ghee to it. (By the way, you can also add white oil or mustard oil, but for that Lucknowee taste, I use ghee.

Heat ghee. 

Add the whole garam masalas and dry red chilies. When the flavor comes out, add onion paste and sauté it in medium heat. Once the onion is light brown or pinkish in color, add the ginger-garlic paste and keep stirring, add green chilies

Add salt and sugar to taste followed by pepper corns. Cook till the raw flavor of ginger-garlic is gone.Add the marinated mutton and mix. Keep stirring from time to time. Add the poppy seed paste and whole poppy seeds.

Now comes the ‘testing your patience’ part. You will have to keep on stirring the mutton from time to time and let it cook on medium heat. Here you need to make sure that the mutton does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

This dish will have quite some amount of gravy so you will have to add water. In a separate pan heat water and keep aside. Cook the mutton till the outer fat has melted and has got mixed with the masala. Now add the potatoes, whole onions and hot water an d give it a nice mix. Taste the salt and sugar consistency. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and cook the mutton for 3 whistles or 25 minutes, whichever comes first. Open only when the pressure has gone out.

Cooking in the handi:
Take a big deep-bottomed vessel with a lid. And follow the steps till you add mutton and cook. Once the mutton starts to leave oil along with the other masalas, add potatoes and onions. Separately knead atta / wheat flour with water into tight dough. Take a big portion of aluminum foil wrap, big enough to cover the mouth of the vessel. Cover the mouth of the vessel with the foil wrap and put the lid on.

Now seal the mouth and the lid together with the dough. On a low flame cook the mutton for 1 hour. You will hear a “chit-pit” sound once the mutton is done.

Serve hot with rice or tandoori roti. I prefer it with plain steamed rice and raw chunks of onion on the side.

Please try this at home and do let me know how it came out at: kolktatakuisine@gmail.com


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