Tuesday, January 12, 2010


You will find this recipe very interesting, very different in flavour  and awesome! While wrting the word "interesting" I remember an explanation and meaning of the word given by my brother, who studied in Penn and stayed for few more years in US before coming back to India.
One day he said " Be careful when an American uses the word interesting while eating food"
I asked " What do you mean"
"Americans always use very superlative adjectives for things they like..awesome, fantastic, yummy , out of the world etc. But if they dont like some thing they will never use any bad adjective like horrible food, cant eat this stuff  etc etc . Instead they will say " Intersting" , which means very bad but I am trying to make it interesting. So if you call an American for dinner and if he uses the adjective interesting, dont cook it in future"
So it is a joke in our family and among closed friends circle ..If any one says interesting we immediately ask " American Interesting or normal interesting"?
Most of you are in USA, so I dont know how far it is true, but I liked it.
So here the dish is not American Interesting.

This dish is very simple to cook and fast. It needs only curd and onion for the gravy and a typical seasoning.
You walk into most of the restaurant in down town Calcutta, you will get  a very well  known dish called Razela , mainly cooked with the ribs and chops of mutton and chicken too. Of course Chicken Razela doesn't stand any where near the mutton one. But it is quite tasty "the chicken-way" for people who don't eat Mutton.
Most restaurants claim, it as their special and they were the originators of the dish. I have been eating Razela since 60s when I came to Calcutta. All Razelas are more or less same, but the most famous one was served at Sabir's  in Chandni Chowk area of Calcutta. No one can match their taste.
After lot of discussions with experts and experiments long back, I arrived at this Razela, which people say, it is close to the Sabirs.
The gravy  has a very different taste and I tried vege version which people love it too, including the carnivores.
In this posting I shall give a detailed method for the Mutton Razela and only photographs and tips for the Vege version. The chicken one is not presented here as I haven't cooked in recent past.
I am giving here

lamb or goat meat 500 gms ( normally rib with a layer of fat and chops are used. You may use other parts with bone or boneless too. As you know, mutton cooked with bone gives a very rich taste. Choice of meat portion is yours)
Common for all vege and non vege dishes
fresh thick curd 300 gms
onion 300 gms 
( you can use more or less depending upon how much gravy you want. but the onion and curd should be approximately of same quantity. The gravy is thin)
 for the gravy
Freshly ground or crushed white pepper 1 level  tsp ( black pepper is also good) add more if you want.
bay leaf 1 
cardamum 2
clove 2
cinnamon 1 inch approx. broken
sugar 2 tsp level
salt to taste
For the seasoning 
Bay leaf  1
Dry red chili 1
black pepper 1 tsp slightly heaped or heaped.
cardamom 3
clove 3
cinnamon 1.25 inch broken.
Ghee 5 tbsp ( about 75 ml, more the merrier)
Dry Red chili whole 5-6
PROCESS ( for Meat)
Wash meat and keep aside.

Grind onion to a fine and smooth paste.
Add curd to the onion paste and mix throughly in a blender or mixer ( this is important)
Mix pepper powder.

Mix the meat , the spice for the gravy and marinate for 1 hr. If you dont have time, straight proceed for cooking. You can do this step in the pressure cooker or thick bottom vessel that you will be using for cooking.

Add sugar and salt and cook under pressure.DO NOT ADD WATER. THERE IS SUFFICIENT WATER IN MEAT , CURD AND ONION Australian and New Zealand Lamb will cook in 6-8 minutes, Indian lamb (God knows). If you are not using pressure cooker, adjust water from time to time. The gravy is thin finally. When the meat is done stop cooking.
Add or remove water to get a thin and not so thick consistency. Adjust salt.
In a Skillet / Kadhai, add ghee and heat, throw in the seasoning. As soon as the aroma comes, pour the seasoning into the Meat vessel and cover.
Bring to boil and boil for 2 mibutes, covered.
Put the raw dry red chili to garnish.
Dish is ready.
This photo is without flash
This photo is with flash
NOTE: The dish will not have any pungent onion smell, so don't worry. The pungent onion smell comes if you add onion paste in hot oil and don't fry properly.
Some people add a bit of ginger garlic paste, which I don't. If you want you can give 1 tsp of the paste.  
Mixing of onion paste and curd is important. When the curd curdles, it will be dispersed evenly with onion, giving a smooth thin gravy.
For more gravy add more curd onion paste mix at the beginning.
This dish needs good quantity of ghee, so don't reduce, you may add more.
Ingredients and  Process remain same. Only minor change in treating the vege or Paneer.
Potato Razela
Boil Potato , peel and cut into large pieces.
Fry to condition or stabilize the potato surface. No browning is necessary.
You can use boiled potato as it is. I fry a bit.

Proceed with making the gravy as above (without the potato). Boil for 5-8 minutes, covered. Adjust water ( remember Potato will adsorb lot of water, so you may keep it thin or can add water later.)
Add Potato , boil for a minute, give seasoning and proceed as above. 
Potato Razela
Paneer Razela
 Cut paneer in large size, say 1 inch thick , 2 X 1/1.2 inch. ( you decide the size, but don't make thin as it would be fried.)
Fry the Paneer to light brown and proceed as Potato Razela.

Potato paneer Razela
 Proceed as above, given with Potato and Paneer.

Cauliflower Razela ( with Carrot , option)
I generally cook this with Cauliflower only. But someone insisted , to use carrot this time..( else Carrot will be there in the break fast with additional germinated green gram, raw turmeric, Jaggery et al..the standard punishments for me.. you know ).But the taste was good.
You may try Cauliflower alone raw, and also souteed cauliflower to get that light aroma.
It will be same as that with meat,
Marinate the raw cauliflower, carrot and proceed with normal boiling until the Cauliflower gets cooked. Proceed as above after the Cauliflower is cooked.
Similarly you can make Potato-Cauliflower Razela, I love it.

Dear Friends, I am taking a break due to some very important work and I may not get time to read all the postings and learn and put my appreciations. I shall make it up in February. And I will be very angry  if any one deletes my name from the blog follower list..and I may put huge quantity of hot red chili powder secretly in the next recipe  ha  ha
Keep blogging,,my most favorite pastime is to read recipes...
1. This dish is normally eaten with roti, chapati, paratha, tanduri roti, bread, Nan , mainly  wheat product, But being a Bengali I ate with rice too.
2. There is a very nice chicken rezala recipe by Kalyan of Knife. I forgot to mention. Please try here . Apart from the recipe, Kalyan has given an excellent write up on Rezala.


gtyuk said...

hahaha, very interesting fact about the use of the word " interesting" it's somewhat true indeed :):) but when I say interesting it is absolutely not " american interesting" hihhihi and moreover I'm in France, so no way....

I have never been to Calcutta, should be planning a trip next time I go to India!!! but I know the name " Chandni Chowk" heard in a movie Kabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham, hihhihi I'm an uncorrectable movie fanatic!!!

I will go in heartfully for the mutton Razela, a delightful curry I'm discovering totally!!

I love using bone pieces for some dishes like Mutton couscous (an arabic speciality) gives a wonderful taste to soups and thin curries.

Pssst: (secretly) you've typed while pepper instead of white pepper ( it's comprehensive but just in case...) I use white pepper only for some of my fish preparartions;

the curry sounds well perfumed, smooth and extremely pleasing to the palates!! something to try !!!

you serve it as it is or with rotis or Rice?

See you back in February!!!!have a nice time!!!

Kalyan Karmakar said...

Hey Ushnishda,

Great to see a post from you after a while. Who would have thought that there could be so many types of rezala? The mutton one was mouth watering. Potato tempting. Cauliflower... interesting.

I am to the Far East to eat.

see you soon


Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Kalyan
I had forgotten to put a link to your rezala..not exactly for the chicken, but for the excellent write up. Now I have put.
The vege version,,is just for my vege friends...Rezala, the traditional one is always cooked with fatty mutton pieces, instead of Ghee lard or dalda is used. Ghee smell is too over powering but we like it ..I will be off blog.
bhalo theko

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Akal
Thank you so much ..while and white..I have lost total control over the key board..the error continued even after 6 rounds of correction. If you read the 1st version, you may not understand what was written ha ha .
I have corrected the spelling now.
the dish is eaten mainly with wheat product, roti, Nan, etc..but being a bong, you know, have eaten with rice many times. I have added this in the blog now. That was a miss. Thanks.
Calcutta Chandini chowk is very different from Delhi one. Cal one is very small and not known like the Delhi one.
Boneless meat is good for tikka and BBQ..otherwise no..
Even while cooking boneless mutton or lamb for people who do not like the very site of bone, I put few bony pieces and remove them before serving.
When they cook the same recipe with boneless pieces, they complain,"Hey Ghosh, the taste is not like yours, what have you kept secrete from us..ha ha
The Rezala, the flavor is very different and very unique, you must try.
Have a nice week

Urmi said...

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year.
All the pictures are mouth watering. I appreciate for your wonderful presentation. Thanks for this lovely razela recipe of veg and non-veg.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear babli
Happy New year to you and family!!
So you are back..ands I am sure , you had a great time ..and brought back some secrete recipes..
Try any of these you will like the flavor.
Have a nice week

? said...

Loved the simplicity of this dish; the cauliflower, carrot version has shades of Kurma/Qurma and ishtu/stew of the south!
Looking forward to February!

Anonymous said...


Quite an interesting story about the word 'interesting'...lol..

Till now I have only had chicken or mutton rezala, but never potato or cauliflower..so this is interesting (i mean, indian interesting :P)

Your mutton rezala looks straight from a restaurant. Looks so great!!

SE said...

The story of interesting seems pretty interesting(not american), but thanks for the info..next will keep that in mind...!!!
Razela the word itself is new to me, so the dish itself is far away..thanks for various versions of razela..I'm gonna try the mutton razela over the weekend..!!

Sarah Naveen said...

Hahahah..What made me laugh the most is the last one..You put chili powder secretly..hahhahah
Its true ushnish..My DH and I have lot of cousins here , as we say ABCD's , they do the same thing...
They never say bad but interesting...
Rezala is real new to me...Mutton looks so mouthwatering...Potato and cauliflower yummy too

Pari Vasisht said...

Dear Ushnish da, I find the recipe drool worthy especially the potato one. The story of interesting is indeed interesting in an Indian way.
When are you inviting me for lunch or dinner? Whenever u invite I surely want this made.
please complete ur work and get back to blogging soon.And yes, I do not mind u adding extra lal mirch to my gravies, I will njoy that more and for that I need not delete u from my following list. LOL

Nandinis food said...

"Interesting" LOL! Although I never knew this, it's normally interesting (oh plz, not the American one)! Well, the dishes are...uhm...awesome! Razela madness is going on here too!

Preeti Kashyap said...

Lovely variations of the same dish! It is truly interesting and NOT American interesting!

Vineetha Sush said...

dear ushnish ji,
I really enjoyed reading ur write up....Even the people here(U.K ) are very polite and never say any bad comments.Not sure whether they use "Intersting "
will definely miss reading ur stories for few weeks.
I liked the dish,lamb cooked in curd will defintely be yummy.
B/W i forgot to tell u before that I dont have another blog other than my food one...I wish I could write one more :)

sayantani said...

Sabir er biriyani. chicken chanp aar ei rezala amader barir most favourite. kichu anusthan holei bolbe oi okhan theke khabar anano hok tahole. rezala amra barite banai tabe veggie die kakhano try korini. thanks a lot Ushnishda ei idea ta debar jonyo. ebar theke non veg er sange amar jonyo o kichu shahi mughlai khabar thakbe menute.

Unknown said...

Dear Ushnish,
Ha ha..Enjoyed ur write up..very interesting!!(not american one)
Rezala looks terffic and mouthwatering.I haven't tasted it but heard from my hubby about the taste.I am drooling over it just thinking about how tasty it will... now i got the recipe..I am trying this for sure.Thanks for sharing!!
Miss ur wonderful recipes & stories till feb..(

Malar said...

Dear Ushinish
I enjoyed by reading about 'interesting'..I dont eat mutton but i should try this with potato..this is very new to me..thanks a lot for sharing this Calcutta recipe coz my hubby was there for 4 years before we come to US.He likes most of recipes...of Calcutta.

Siddhi Shirsat said...

He he very nice normal interesting fact abt an american intersting:-))...nxt tym i vl be careful whnever ny1 from us says interesting...he he...
Hey this dish luks superb...never heard of it, liked it a lot vl try all the versions gvn by u.Thnx for gving mny versions of it.Hope 2 cu sun in bloggin agn...vl miss ur comments n recipes...c u sun

Keri said...

This looks spectacular. I can almost smellGlad I happened in. When you have a little time, come to my blog. I'd be honored to see you there as a friend and or follower. I am now your loyal follower! Keri (a.k.a. Sam) www.samwich365.com the aroma. Very nice.

Malar Gandhi said...

Very true about the word 'interesting'...but when I say interesting, it still totally Indian way:)

Ha ha, you will put chili powder in the next recipe...ha ha.

Mutton Razela sounds very delightful...never had them before' a must try recipe for sure:)

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

Now I will think again before putting interesting recipe on your comments...
Really good one...

Padmajha said...

That's an [normal]interesting read :)!!!Veg recipes looks like a must try one..

I have an award for u in my blog.Kindly collect it @ http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/2010/01/7-secrects-of-mine.html

prasu said...

quite good write up about"intresting".... delicious curries............have a nice time.

Dolly Sharma said...

Ushnishda, This is one interesting recipe...lol. I really mean it but I do agree with the American Interesting...Its totally true. This dish is new to me..Ur Mutton Razela Looks awesome..and the recipe is so easy. A Must try.So little time and so many things to try..I like the potato and cauliflower Razela too..but My fav has to be Mutton Razela.

Before you go on a break, Please collect the Beautiful Blogger Award from my blog.You deserve it.You are a great blogpal. Don't worry none of us are going to delete ur name from the blog follower list..

Chetana Suvarna Ganatra said...

Dear Ushnishji,
Interesting to know about interesting.
N abt chilli powder...lol
Never heard abt dis recipe before, thx for sharing, my mouth is already watering...will try sum lamb chop razela.
U tk care,

s said...

great looking dish...interesting..and not the american kind..

Sanjana said...

The paneer version looks so good! I can't wait to try it! Please could you explain to me why some people choose not to eat mutton but do eat chicken? Is it because they don't eat red meat? If it is then I understand this and have encountered it before in people I meet but if there is another reason I don't know of please could you clear this up?
And also I think the 'interesting' adjective used when describing food is the same for Britain too! :) Once I made shrikhand dessert for one of my English friends (we aren't friends anymore but this isn't the reason why! Lol) She said 'hmm... interesting' when she ate it and immedietly put her spoon down and had a disgusted look on her face lol! Oh dear..! Don't worry- I will be waiting for your hot chilli post! Have a productive break! :)

Kalyan Karmakar said...

Thanks Ushnishda. will miss connecting with you. Amar Singapore aaj besh moja holo. Will add your multi varied rezala link to mine too

FoodLovers said...

Hi Ushnish
i loved ur write up
Veg version and Non veg Versions looks great

Hamaree Rasoi said...

The rezela dish recipe was very simple to understand and would definitely try it today night.
It became even easier as the step by step pictures were posted.

The potato rezala was the highlight of your post which dispelled the doubt that it can be only non veg dish.
Hope to see many such unique dishes from you in future.
First time here but ...will be following you

my kitchen said...

Hi Ushnish,

Yummy versions of Razela.Loves to eat both the versions of veg & nonveg

BongMom said...

Ushnish Da

Good story. Don't believe Americans even when the say "Wow, great". They have a tendency to use superlatives always and as you said "American interesting is NOT "normal interesting" always ;-)

But your different rezalas are really very interesting(strictly normal way interesting) :-) I have never before seen a Paneer Rezala or Cauliflower rezala

Shabs.. said...

Hello Sir,
That looks like a yummy mutton treat!...i love such mild curry....its so good for chnage from theusual spiced up versions.
Regarding ur query on my chicken biriyani, mutton can be prepared teh same way too....
Sorry for the very late reply. Just got caught up with stuffs....was not able to respond to many!!

Pravs said...

Interesting !! ah..in an Indian way :D It was really nice reading this post and to see a variation to the recipe with veggie and non- veg.

Malar Gandhi said...


Please check out 'Kitchen Mishaps Event Roundup' at my blog.


I appreciate, your comforting words to the participants. I believe it will greatly boost their energy...who daringly shared their cooking disasters.

Thank you,
Malar Gandhi

Kanchan said...

Hey.. waiting for you lovely next post ..

Btw do collect your award from my blog; along with that do take up the TAG with Seven interesting something of your Life. If you have already done the TAG so it with a variation !

SE said...

hope you are doing great !!! thanks for stopping by. Yes, I did have my email on the profile.

Pari Vasisht said...

hi Ushnishda,
Today only I was talking to Sangeeta and I came to know you had a big celebration at home. Heartiest congrats, I hope and pray that you had a smooth sail..da I have my email id displayed at my blog, kindly provide urs so that we can communicate when required. Rest well and then start blogging.
Take care.

shahana said...

i tried ur recipe last weekend . i tried it with potatoes.itcame out really well.thanks for sharing!!!

Siddhi Shirsat said...

Hi Ushnish uncle,
hope i c an call u that, u wnt mind na?...good 2 c u back after mny days...thnx for the comments...now waitng for ur recipes...have a nice week

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Shahana
I feel good that you liked it. In fact all my foodie friends were laughing that I have been making vegi Rezala. But now they like it. Actually the unique flavor comes from the whipped onion paste and curd followed by the Rezala seasoning and a bit of extra ghee or oil.
I am just back and now I will read all the blogs

sangeeta said...

here after a long while and could not stop myself from this rezala recipe....i loved this mutton preparation n made it too a few times and am sure going to make by this exact recipe very soon as i know it will be just perfect ...

Regarding the origin of rezala i remember Vinod dua once telling in his show 'Zayeka India ka' that this dish was brought to Cal by Moghuls ...considering the richness and spice flavors i believe that it is a fine example of balanced cooking ( even if it a fusion of moghul n bengali cooking styles)...

i'd never use lard or dalda for this and the veggie versions may be tried once in a while too.....

sangeeta said...

and regarding superlatives i have found bengalis being very very generous too......bhishon bhalo , ki shundor , koto kaajer meye......many more words are coming to my mind right now...ha ha...

nandini said...

oh my what a delightful recipe !!! I would defnitely go for the mutton razela!! First time here and i enjoyed reading ur post!.

usharam said...

i may cook nothing from your blog, see i am lazy enough not to, but you got me so cracked up. u have an amazing sense of humor. thank you for making me laugh so much. ur blog is just wow!

Muraligeetham said...

Hi Ushnish, Its been a while & hope you r fine. I was off blogging these days and jst happened to see Razela through sangeethas blog and found it really awesome! thinking of making it with potato..thankyou so much for the lovely recipe and hope to see more of your posts..
Have a nice week end !

Anu Santanu said...

Wow.. dekhe Sabir er Rezala mone pore gelo..
Please visit my blog, an award is waiting for you !!

Anu Santanu said...

Hello, your award was on a separate page in my blog, but now you will find in a post. Sorry about the confusion.. Please visit my blog for the award. http://bhalokhabo.blogspot.com

momsnetwork said...

just made this dish…mmmm wow! explosion of spices. wonderful
Good Paediatrician in Velachery

Unknown said...

Hello Ushnish da !
Thank you so very much tried your way of razelle and it turned really yummy , my husband and me fought for the last piece ... guess what last time i tried it the manner ms. madhur jaffrey referred ... well though no offence to the food writer ... it did not turn to that expectation. So thank you once again ..enjoyed every morsel.

Unknown said...

Hii.. Thanks for you posting this blog.
I bookmarked this blog. I will try it this in summer.
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Unknown said...

Sir/Mam you said marinate the rezala for 1 hr but if i want can i marinate whole night and next morning i will continue other process?Is it possible
Restruent Style Rezala