What could be better on cold wintry days than a steaming pot of muttons with potatoes in a rich and spicy gravy wafting the whole house with its bold flavours ! Nothing brings more comfort to the mind and body than the piping hot-pot of stewed muttons with chunks of potatoes , but for me it takes years to accept their marriage, a match made in heaven !
May be it was a child whims that had kept me away from liking the dish, so my mom used to make it rich with extra garam masala freshly pounded, the strong pungent flavours of mustard oil draws you near with every blast of steam and simmered in low heat for hours, until the meat is tender and juicy, potatoes are well cooked when pricked with fork and seeped in deep flavours of meat. Years later I still like it that way and in a very unremarkable fashion has developed a liking for the potatoes in meat dishes.
So when I reveal to my mom that I have made aloo gosht for dinner (though we are thousands of miles apart and we do talk on such trivial matters over the phone at ungodly hours) her first reaction was ” aloo (potatoes) ! in meat ! but you never liked potatoes in meat dish. You used to throw tantrum over the poor potatoes !” Yeah I can be that imprudent and was a fussy eater !
True I never used to like the meat and potatoes together, but that seems like eons ago now, may be I have discovered some new flavours in the same old dish or it is just the perspective that bring the change in me. Now with renewed interest and vigour I tries to recreate my mom’s recipe, for that same magic I was so fond of.
Strange are the ways how we associate food with our emotions ! If my mom comes to know about my salad diet regime, she will assume I am not doing good, or may be I am terribly upset about something that’s why I am skipping my meals and just having salads ! No amount of fair reasoning will be able to convince her about me or salad. 😀 On the contrary if I make something hearty like meat and potatoes stew it will make her feel better knowing that nothing is wrong with me, everything in my life is good. Because I am eating the right food, or more precisely the real food.
So here I present – a hearty and comfort food aloo gosht which when transliterated into English becomes potatoes and lamb stew or curry but stew is more milder a word which doesn’t suit this dish, it is more robust, with bold flavours and extra richness of spices. No tomatoes or curd / yogurt are added to mellow down the flavours, it has its own rustic charm and that’s the beauty of this dish.
BOLD , ROBUST and RUSTIC that’s how I will describe it. Serve it with roti or rice and you will forget everything else !
- Mutton (goat meat): 500 gm
- Potatoes (large chunks) : 2
- Onion (minced): 1 large
- Ginger-garlic (minced): 1 tbsp each
- Kashmiri red chillies : 4-5
- Cumin powder: 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
- Cinnamon sticks: 2
- Cloves: 5-6
- Black cardamoms: 1-2
- Bay leaves: 2-3
- Black peppercorns: 5-6
- Mustard oil: 2-3 tbsp
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Wash the mutton (usually the goat meat) thoroughly and smear it with salt and turmeric powder.
- Add a bay leaf in the mutton to enhance the aroma.
- Roast the cinnamon, cloves, Kashmiri red chillies,cardamoms and black peppercorns and pounded them coarsely. This is the garama masala.
- Heat some mustard oil in a dekchi / heavy bottom pan and fry the potatoes till golden brown. Take out the potatoes and keep aside.
- To the same oil add the minced garlic, few seconds later onion and then ginger. Let it fry for sometimes and then add few bay leaves, and freshly pounded garam masala.
- Fry till it leaves an aroma.
- Add the muttons and lightly braise it with the spices till it smeared heavily and coated with onions, ginger garlic and spice mixture.
- Sprinkle some salt and sugar over it and let the juices comes out.
- Add the potatoes now, give it a stir and cover the mutton and potatoes with enough hot water.
- Cover with a lid and let it simmer on low heat until meat is tender and juicy, potatoes are well cooked and not mushy. Check for the seasonings.
- Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti or rice as you prefers.
Enjoying the fresh snow outside my window !!! And tomorrow India will celebrate its 64th Republic Day, may we all strive for better society and a better nation ! Happy Republic Day to all my fellow Indians !
Have a great weekend !