Bangladeshi Mutton Tehari (Spicy aromatic rice and goat meat medley)

3:34 AM

The truth is I had never eaten Mutton Tehari before I watched this video. The Tehari of North India which we were served every Sunday for lunch in our Delhi hostel is quite different. This peasant dish of UP basically is a vegetarian dish made with winter veggies like cauliflower, peas and potatoes but this Tehari from Bangladesh could be the close cousin of a basic Biriyani. It's a cross between an yakhni pulao and a Biriyani and it's uniqueness is the zing that it gets from Mustard oil and green chilies. Quite humble at heart but hearty and satisfying for lazy afternoon.

No wonder I again decided to make it for Eid lunch this year. I was running very bsuy with my cooking Demo and and full fledged meal planning for my clients and had every intention to put my feet up for the long weekend. and thats exactly what I did. Just got out of my lazy cocoon on Minday late morning and whipped up this delicacy under 2 hours.

Before I dive into the recipe let me make a few pointers:

 First is the rice. The traditional Dhakai Tehari is made with Kalijira rice which I dint have at hand. I asked and my Facebook foodie friends suggested Gobindobhog could be close match. I was little skeptical of that so used the aromatic Nunia chal from North Bengal. The picture is at the side and it really worked well. The aroma that it lent to the mutton is everything for the dish. Next time will use another variety of rice called Tulaipanji which again is native to Bengal and with time is almost getting vanished from the plate.

Second the Meat. This same recipe could be executed for any meat but the cooking time will differ. I have used mutton here but traditionally Beef is used. You can even use chicken and it would need lesser time to cook.

The meat should be cut in small pieces say 1" cubes of goat meat (not baby goats) with very less amount of fat to it. I prefer choosing meat on bones as it's way more flavourful. but you can definitely choose boneless mutton pieces.

Vessel: Use a flat bottom vessel for cooking the rice and doing the Dum part for uniform cooking. You can do the dum even in an oven. I also used a pressure cooker to cook the meat quickly.

Marination: please make sure to marinate it overnight. The kind of flavour it will have is just out of this world. Otherwise a min. of 2 hours of marination is highly recommended.

Potatoes and eggs: not traditionally used but we love potatoes and a little extra amount of protein in the form of egg never hurts anyone 😏

Bangladeshi Mutton Tehari
(serves 4)

Mutton: 1/2 kg
Rice: 21/2 cups
Onion: 4, thinly sliced (2 cups loosely packed)
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Garlic paste: 2 tsps
Sha jeera/ black Cumin paste: 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
Yougurt: 1/2 cup
Milk: 3/4 cup
Mustard oil: 1/2 cup+2 tbsp also for deep frying onions
Potatoes: 3 (optional)
Eggs: 4 (Optional)
Green chillies: 10-15 pieces
Kewra water: 1 tsp
Chili powder: 1/2 tsp

Garam Masala:
Bay leaf: 3
Cloves: 10
Cinnamon: 2" piece
green cardamom: 3
Nutmeg powder: 1/3 tsp
Mace: 1 flower
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp

Wash the mutton pieces and marinate with ginger, garlic paste, salt and 1 tbsp mustard oil. Mix and cover. Keep in the fridge overnight. If you are pressed for time, atleast marinate for a couple of hours.

Next day wash and soak the rice at least for 2 hours.

If using the eggs and potato then cut the potatoes in half and boil till 3/4 done. Peel, sprinkle salt  and keep aside.

Finely slice the onions. while doing so make sure to slice it from it's root side, that way when you will fry the onion for birista it will separate naturally. 

Heat Mustard oil  and fry 1/2 cup onion in batches. Keep the flame on medium and take them out when they start to turn golden. the cooking process continues and will turn a couple of shade darker when it will rest. Keep on absorbent paper.

In the same oil fry the potatoes and egg till golden. Keep aside.

In pressure cooker pan heat 1/2 cup mustard oil and when it start to smoke add lightly crushed cloves (5-6), half of the cinnamon, the mace flower, and 2 green cardamoms. And also the bay leaf. Let it splutter then add the onion. Sprinkle some salt and let it turn golden on medium flame. Now add the chicken (do not add the juice). Stir on high heat to brown them. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add the juice and cumin-coriander-chili powder and 4-5 green chillies. Mix and let it cook on medium. Cover. Stir from time to time. After 10 minutes add the whipped yogurt and half of the birista, mix. Check seasoning. Add nutmeg powder and garam masala. Adjust if needed. 

Cook again for 7-8 minutes or till you see oil starts to appear on the sides. Now add a cup of water and cook for 2 whistles on medium flame. Let the steam dissipate then check how the mutton is cooked. Take out the mutton and measure the juice in the same cup you measured rice.

Now take a casserole type dish known as dekchi in India (Flat bottom high side pan) and heat 2 tbsp oil. Let it smoke then add 1 bayleaf, 1 green cardamom, 4-5 cloves, 1" cinnamon, Little mace flower and let it splutter. Add little ginger garlic paste and cook with a pinch of salt. Now add the juice from the mutton. We need double the amount of liquid to the rice. My juice was little less than 1 cup and milk was 3/4 cup. so I added 31/4 cup of water.  and add the rice. Mix and bring it to a boil. Cover and let it cook on low flame. Cook for 7 minutes and then add the mutton, birista, rest of the green chillies, kewra water and nutmeg powder. Mix very lightly and place the fried potato pieces on top. Cover with a foil. Place the lid and then again cover with a foil. 

Place it on a Tawa (flat frying pan preferably iron) and put the flame on lowest. Cook for 20 minutes and shake the pan at the 10 minutes mark.

Take it off the heat and shake lightly. Let it rest for 10 minutes. then remove the foils and cover the pan with a kitchen towel topped with the lid. Rest for another 10 minutes then serve with Yogurt and kachumbar salad.

The flavour develops over time. I prefer to serve mine after 3-4 hours.
so this makes for a great party dish.

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  1. Ki darun dekhte laagche eta ... rongta oshadharon hoyeche! Amio konodin tehari khaini. Tomar ei recipe ta try kortei hocche Sayantani.

  2. Oh goodness!!! The dish sounds amazingly flavorful... not really a fan of mustard oil but agree that for the authentic taste, you need to use the oil as required... pinning this up!

  3. This looks soo good! the capture also has come out so well.


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