Folks, this weekend we continue with our gastronomic excursion of Uttar Pradesh food. We are in particular, making some recipes that we have grown up eating, and it is very difficult to find some restaurants serving these preparations. So we decided to delve into our recipe diary, made some frantic calls to our aunts asking them about their secret recipes and came up with this delicious recipe preparation. I feel it is very important for us to document such recipes from Indian regional cuisines which are very poorly documented till now, and only exists in the memory lanes of our mom, granny and aunts.
Uttar Pradesh cuisine can primarily be divided into 3 main categories, Avadhi cuisine, Mughlai cuisine and Bhojpuri cuisine. Each of these cuisines is so vast that it would be unjust on my part to try and accommodate them in a single blog post. We would rather stick to Bhojpuri cuisine, because our recipe comes from that part of Uttar Pradesh. Bhojpur region is spread between parts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. Bhojpur region owing to its proximity to cities like Varanasi (also known Banaras), Gorakhpur, Mirzapur, Sasaram enjoys a rich heritage and culture.
The cuisine is deeply influenced by Avadhi and Mughlai cuisines and at the same time it has managed to retain its originality. Inhabitants of this region are primarily into farming, and hence prefer eating both veg and non-veg food to derive complete nutrition or protein, vitamins and fats. In ancient times (Vedic ages) meat of various animals like goats, oxen, horses, swines, sheeps were eaten. However, as modern Hinduism evolved and with the influence of other culture many animals were left out from that list and now we have only handful of options left as far as meat is concerned. Mostly, goat meat is greatly relished in UP cuisine. Religion does play a prominent role in the daily food of this region. While Hindus prefer only goat meat and chicken, Muslims in this region can be found enjoying beef too. As British came, poultry found its significance in India and became very popular but still in Uttar Pradesh cuisine goat meat is considered far more superior and prominent.
Goat meat (also known as mutton) attains a special place in all the 3 cuisines of UP. Every special occasion at home is characterized by various delicacies made from goat meat. If a non-vegetarian family in Uttar Pradesh is preparing lunch or dinner for their guest, it would be incomplete without mutton. It is such an integral part of custom to serve the guest with meat during their stay and in fact hospitality of host is judged by whether they serve meat or not.
- 500 grams mutton pieces (Goat meat) with bones
- 4 large sized onions a) 2 onions cut lengthwise to be used for tempering b) 2 onions cut in cubes to be used in masala paste
- 12-15 cloves of garlic
- 3 bay leaf
- 7-8 dried red chili. Soak the chilies in hot water for 10 minutes before using them in paste
- 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorn
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 inch cinammon stick
- 2 black cardamom
- 1 tbsp dried lichen
- 1 star anise
- 6 cloves
- ¼ tsp mace
- ½ inch turmeric root
- Mustard Oil- Can be substituted by any other oil
- Clarified butter
- Take Onion cubes,coriander seeds, red chilies, garlic, 1 tsp cumin seeds, turmeric root, mace,cinammon stick, black cardamom,star anise, dried lichen, black peppercorn, poppy seeds in a grinder. Grind all these ingredients into a fine
- paste using water
- Fine Masala paste is ready
- Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add bay leaf to the pan and fry them till they become brown.
- When bay leaf turns brown,add cumin seeds, onions (cut lengthwise) and fry them until onions become brown.
- Onions become brown in 7 minute. Add mutton pieces and mix them well.
- Remember to stir the pieces after every few minutes.Cook mutton pieces covered until the water that oozes out from the mutton dries completely.
- Mutton is roasted for 20 minutes on low flame.
- Now add masala paste to the pan and cook it until the oil separates out and we can see traces of oil at the sides of the pan.
- Oil gets separated in about 10 minutes and masala is nicely roasted.
- Now add salt as per taste.
- Add 3 cups of hot water for gravy. We can increase or decrease the water content to adjust the consistency of gravy.
- Now cook the mutton covered until it is completely cooked.
- Mutton gets cooked in 20 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) in small pan and now add 1 tsp cumin seeds.
- Now pour the tempered cumin seeds on the mutton gravy and cover the lid immediately.
- Cover the mutton curry for 15 mins and after that we can serve the gravy.
- Mutton Curry is traditionally relished with roti(Phulka),steamed rice and raw onions.
- Share your feedback about this recipe at www.kalimirchbysmita.com
I remember, whenever we used to go to our ancestral home in UP, our aunts would always prepare a special lunch for us and it would always have mutton curry in it. The most funny and fascinating part was, my uncles who would get the meat from butcher shop would say “Today we will get some shikaar for you.” Shikaar in local dialect means “Hunt”. In ancient times, when hunting was not banned, the Rajputs would go for hunting and would enjoy eating venison. So even now when hunting has been banned, they find it difficult to stop using that term “Shikaar” in their conversations which to me seemed funny.
I remember it very vividly, mom used to make this particular mutton recipe every Sunday. In fact, while growing up, this was the only recipe of mutton that my palate was used to. Now when I have moved out of my home city and have exposure to so many different kinds of recipes, I still crave for this preparation.
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Do try this mutton recipe that comes from the kitchens of Bhojpur, and remember to share your feedback in the comment section below.
If you love mutton recipe check out here for other mutton recipes