Mutton Kasha (Spicy curried Goat Meat/ bengali style Bhuna Gosht)1:48 AM
To continue with my less is more approach let me stop talking and present to you this classic Mutton Kasha recipe. An amazingly aromatic rich and delicious curry with tender pieces of goat meat laced with the warm aroma of Garam masala powder. It calls for a very few ingredients, mostly available in your home kitchen. and if you are twitching your nose looking at the amount of fat in the dish then yes it's spicy, it's rich and definitely it's oily but it makes for a finger licking meal once in a while.
With age am just pulling myself away from serving numerous items at any party that I host, especially for Indian fare. From experience I now know that it's very easy to make a mess out of trying to do various flavour, texture, taste combination which more often than not goes unnoticed and make everyone crazy trying everything. So to be safe and to serve a appetizing and satisfying meal I now a days stick to the idea of serving fewer items which are executed with proper care. Recently I served a meal of Bengali style fried rice, this Mutton Kasha, Salad, Chutney and Payes to a party for my brothers and was relieved when everyone enjoyed their meal and appreciated my idea of not serving them an elaborate spread.
There is a little twist in preparing the meat. Following Korma, kheer and Kismet I started adding little minced meat to thicken the gravy and it works wonderfully. Now a days I always do that while cooking it. Do try this recipe for your next party. hopefully your effort too will be appreciated.
Mutton: 1 kg (with some fat)
Onion: 2 medium (Indian purple variety)
Onion Paste: 3/4 cup
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste: 2 tbsp (Ginger garlic 1:1 with 2 green chillies)
Yogurt: 1/3 cup
Oil: 1/2 cup (Preferably mustard oil or a mix )
Mustard oil: 2 tbsp
Chilli powder: 1 tsp or more
Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder: 1/6 tsp
Whole Black cardamom: 1
Green cardamom: 2
bay leaf: 2 small
Pepper: 1/3 tsp
Cinnamon: 1" stick
Wash the meat under running water and drain the excess water. Pick out 2 pieces without any bone or fat in it and make a paste in your mixie. Mix all of the meat (and the ground meat) with the yogurt, 1/3 tsp salt and 2 tbsp mustard oil. cover and put back in the fridge at least for 4 hours, best if kept over night.
Once you are ready to cook very finely slice the 2 onions. Heat oil and fry these with a pinch of salt till dark golden. Drain and take out. Keep aside.
In the same oil add the lightly pounded whole cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, pepper and bay leaves. Once they release the aroma add the onion paste. Cook on medium for 5-6 minutes or till they start to leave oil and the raw smell is gone. Add the ginger garlic paste, chili powder and cook again for 5-6 minutes till oil starts to ooze at the sides.
Now add the meat, salt and mix thoroughly. Cover and let it brown, keep stirring from time to time. This kashano is very important for Bengali cooking. You cannot rush this step not especially for a Kasha recipe which needs the meat to be browned naturally in its juices and the best result comes from slow cooking it on low flame.
After 20-30 minutes you will see the meat stops leaving juices and is dark and oily. Add 2 cups of warm water at this stage. Adjust seasoning, turmeric powder, half of the birista (fried onion), Nutmeg powder. Transfer to a pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles on medium. Switch off and let the steam dissipate in itself.
You can also cook it in a covered pan on low flame for 60-70 minutes or till the meat is tender and cooked through. I do that occasionally for special gatherings at home. Do not get tempted to check on the meat and open the lid too often. Give it time to cook in it's own juice, just shake the pan from time to time to stop it being burned at the bottom.
Open the lid and check if the mutton is cooked. If not you might have to cook it for one more whistle. If its tender then add the rest of the birista and garam masala. Reduce the gravy on medium flame while constantly stirring and scraping the bottom and sides. Once you see that the fat has separated and only some coating thick gravy is there in the pan you know your dish is ready.
I prefer to drizzle a spoonful of ghee at the end with a pinch of garam masala powder.
Serve hot with roti, paratha, or rice.