Dear Friends . HAPPY NEW YEAR ( I have already wished you all , still it is for 2011, as it is too early to wish Happy New year for 2012)
I am back after a 10 day trip to Calcutta, Sundarban and Santiniketan. The Sundarban trip was very memorable as few of my college mates met after many decades. My classmate came all the way from Houston with her husband. It was a 3 days 2 nights trip on boat to the dreadfully beautiful Sundarban. We did not see any tiger, ( normally no one can see them) and hopefully the tigers did not see me too, (or decided not to chew old bones), else I would have been writing from Hell. ( not Heaven ).
For 10days, it was marathon eating every where particularly at my in laws place in Santiniketan. Every where it was fish and more fish and it was 4 to 5 fish dishes for lunch and dinner. Oh God , I never imagined, I would ever get tired of eating fish!!!
So I thought I should cook a simple Mutton dish for a change and few vege dishes for SOMEONE who is a Vegetable freak.
Here is a simple and fast dish for you ( Non-vege only). It can be cooked with mutton ( with or without bone), chicken, beef etc. The basic idea is to spend minimum time. Here I have used Mutton Pasanda. I made pasanda to make a pasanda biriyani, but was feeling lazy so made this curry after spending lot of time to cut pasanda from a chunk of meat. It was a criminal wastage of time, indeed. You need not use Pasanda for this fake dish.
This dish will be cooked with all the spices , onion garlic etc added together with a seasoning.
PASANDA. Many of you must be knowing what is pasanda . This is just to refresh. It is cut in long strips from a chunk of thigh meat and about 1/4th inch or less thick. The technique needs lot of skill. It is like peeling an orange continuously with out breaking. The flat pieces are then hit lightly with the sharp edge of the knife to make grooves and then further smashed to flatten. . Indian Butchers are expert in cutting Pasanda. It is a base material for many dishes, from Kebab, Biriani, to cutlets, stir fries, crispy lamb fry with honey and sesame etc etc. The size of the pieces will depend what pasanda dish you are making. Pasanda, being very thin and smashed, picks of the marinade very nicely.
CLOSE UP VIEW, PASANDA
Mutton Pasanda 500 gms, cut to 1 X 2 inch pieces. ( or 750 gm mutton with bones or 500 gms without bones, 3/4th inch chunks)
for the marinade
Fresh curd 3 heap tbsp ( about 50 gms)
2 onion chopped fine ( 11/2 inch size)
2 level tbsp chopped garlic ( you can use more)
2 level tbsp chopped ginger ( you can use more)
1 heap tsp Coriander powder.
1 level tsp roasted and powdered cumin. ( if you dont have roasted one , use raw powder)1 tbsp mustard oil
1 heap tsp turmeric powder.
2 cardamom, 1/2 inch cinnamon powdered coarsely by slashing. ( optional)
Cinnamon 11/2 inch long broken to pieces
Cardamom 4 , peel ruptured
Black pepper 10
Bay leaf 2
2 green chili chopped to 1/4th inch
Tomato 1 chopped fine ( about 2 inch size)
Red chili powder 2 tsp (more the merrier)
1 onion thin and uniformly sliced.
3 -4 tbsp mustard oil
Salt as required
Sugar 1 level tsp ( this is for taste and not for sweetening)
Cut Pasanda into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.
Whip the curd and mix all ingredients mentioned under marinade then mix the meat.
Keep aside for 1 hour.
Heat oil to smoking in a pressure cooker, remove from fire and give seasoning of bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, green chili and black pepper.
Add the sliced onion and fry to brown. ( just 2 shades below dark brown), add tomato immediately to prevent over frying of onion.
Soute for 5 minutes.
Add red chili powder stir for 30 seconds and add the marinated meat along with the liquid.
Mix well. Add salt , sugar and 1/2 cup water.
Pressure cook for 6 minutes . (Count time from 1st whistle and reduce heat.).
Open the cooker after the pressure becomes normal, and boil to drive off water and the gravy should be of thick consistency.
Eat with rice, Paratha, roti.
Finished dish, Mutton pasanda curry
Santiniketan is my in-laws' place, have been travelling there since 1970s. Apart from Tagore connection, one loves to be there to spend some time, repeatedly.
I dont want to write a travelogue on this ( too much on the net already). Here I give a compilation of video clips on train to Santiniketan.
I like the bengali folk songs called Baul. Most of you will not understand the meaning but enjoy the train ride and the rhythm of the song.