My Ma was never up for us having any meal outside in a restaurant. She used to snigger at every proposal of dining out and used to say ''I'll make better food at home'' and fortunately (or unfortunately) she did! One of my all time favourite dish is Mutton Rezala that old places like Aminia and Sabir used to make. And my Ma used to make one at home too. I remember eating rezala once at Aminia when I was little and I was all praises about it at home. And the next Sunday I got a hot bowl of Mutton Rezala waiting for me at the dinner table with a customary 'Rumali Roti' to dunk in the heavenly stew. And since then it was a regular affair. Infact her rezala became quite popular among our family and friends. Whenever anybody visited or ate at our place they politely demanded a bowl of Mutton Rezala. And the memory of the heavenly smell in our home on those occasions is still fresh in my mind. But I never bothered to make it in my kitchen. Somehow I had this idea that this dish requires a lot of hard work, time and patience...none of which I possess! Until , of course, I came across this recipe on Sandeepa's blog. Her blog has been my inspiration for some time now. Her recipes and anecdotes are simply mind blowing!
Coming back to the recipe, this is one of the easiest mutton recipes ever! It doesnt take up my time as I slow cook it in a cooker and yes as Sandeepa says it does taste and smell heavenly! I simply love it for the taste and for giving me back my childhood days!
Goat/Lamb Meat - 2kgs
Onions - 3 large, sliced
Ginger Paste/Mince - 2tsp
Garlic Paste/Mince - 2tsp
Yogurt - 1 cup for marinade + 2 cups for cooking
Spices you'll need for roasting and grinding :
Cardamom - 4 big black & 20 green
Mace Flowers - 2
Clove - 10
Pepper Powder - 1 tbsp
For the Gravy :
Cashew - 4 tbsp, soaked in water for a few hours and blended into a fine paste
Kewra Water - 1 tsp (Can be replaced with Rose Water)
Milk - 2tbsp
Saffron Strands - A generous pinch, crushed (just crush with fingers, this will mix well and give a better flavour and aroma)
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Sunflower Oil - 4 tbsp
Ghee - 4-5 tbsp
Whole Spices for tempering :
Bay Leaf - 5
Dried Whole Red Chillies - 10
Black Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 2 black & 10 green
Clove - 15Cinnamon Stick - 4
Roast and grind all the spices listed under ''Roasting and grinding''.
Soak the saffron in the milk and heat in the microwave for about 20seconds.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of ghee. Fry onion slices till they are translucent. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry well till the raw smell is gone. Cool a bit and blend in a blender into a paste.
Marinate the meat with this paste, ground dry spices, salt and 1 cup of yogurt. Keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours atleast, overnight is better.
Heat the remaining oil and ghee in a deep wok. Add the spices for ''Tempering''. Add 1/2 tsp of sugar.
Fry the meat pieces in the oil after scraping the excess marinade off the pieces. Fry them till they are nicely browned on both the sides. As Sandeepa says...'' A lot of water will be released and it will smell heavenly''....so true!
Whisk the remaining of the marinade with 2 more cups of yogurt, cashew paste, water (depending on whether you want it thick or soupy) and season with salt according to your taste.
Add this to the wok and bring it to boil. Por it into the slow cooker pan along with the Kewra Water and cook it on high for about 3 hours and on low for 1 hour. (Adjust cooking times according to the meat pieces and quantity). You can also cook it in a pressure cooker. I've cooked this dish in both and slow cooking definitely makes it so much better! Stir in the the saffron milk just before serving.
Serve it with Biryani or Naan/Tandoori Roti/Rumali Roti.