"Do you always cook 'hi-fi' stuff?" asked one of my readers jokingly. " Ha, ha, not really, only the best ones make it to the blog" I replied, thoroughly enjoying questions like these that help put a smile on my face often. Well, it's true that I have started to cook a lot of different kind of dishes lately. They are not necessarily "hi-fi" but are definitely those that sound interesting enough to be bookmarked and tried. Besides the regular Mangalorean fare, I also like to try out some party specific items on regular days so that I have a good collection of recipes to choose from when we invite guests over for a meal. And this looks like it is a never ending process - there are just so many wonderful recipes out there waiting to be tried!!
As you've noticed, most of my recipes are with small quantities of ingredients especially suited for nuclear families like ours and when time permits I try out at least one new recipe everyday - I do this for the sheer joy of cooking. Nothing is as exhilarating as the process of bringing together ingredients, fiddling around with proportions and creating a new batch of flavours that tantalize the taste buds. Having tried at least 3-4 new recipes per week, I have enough content to delight my readers with 'new' recipes every time. Blogging has greatly simplified and offered the convenience of collecting & storing a gamut of recipes in a single place making it a simple repository of recipes for my personal use which would otherwise be scattered across so many cookbooks & notebooks that I have amassed along the years.
Honestly while I don't cook just because I have a blog, I am definitely more enthusiastic & driven to try out new things because I know I have some place to share it with others who may also benefit from my experiments. More than the need to feed my blog, I cook to feed my family and look forward to being judged by the two most important food critics in my house - my husband & my son. A dish rarely makes it to the blog if it hasn't got a majority vote :-). Before the blog was created, I followed the same process, vetoed recipes never got a chance of being saved as a fair copy in my main recipe book.
Last but not the least, I thoroughly enjoy the process of cooking, styling the food & capturing the flavours in as many pictures as I can manage to click. - I enjoy this entire process so much that I actually look forward to doing it everyday if I could. And yes, receiving feedback is just one of the perks ;-)
- 750gm Mutton on the bone
For the garam masala (to be powdered)
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 2 cardamoms
- 3 cloves
- 4 peppercorns
For the marination
- 3/4th cup thick sour curds (yogurt)
- juice of 1/2 lime - optional
- salt to taste
- 50gm or 1/2 cup copra (dried coconut)
- 1 large onion
- 1 inch ginger
- 3 cloves garlic (Indian) with skin
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
- 6 long dry red chillies with seeds removed
- 2 tsp coriander
- 1-2 medium size green chillies (adjust according to taste)
- 1 large onion finely sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil or ghee as required
1. Cut the mutton into medium size pieces, wash and drain on a colander. Pat the pieces dry and marinate it with curds & salt & keep aside for at least 30mins.
2. Dry roast the ingredients for the garam masala and powder them. Set aside. If you are using freshly grated coconut, dry roast it till golden brown on a hot tawa and grind it to a fine paste along with the rest of the ingredients mentioned in 'For the masala' section using a little water. Reserve the masala water from the mixie.
3. In a pressure cooker heat some oil or ghee & fry the sliced onion till golden brown and add the ground masala and fry for a few minutes. Add the marinated meat pieces and fry for a few minutes till all the pieces are well coated with the masala. Add the masala water, adjust salt to taste (remember that the marination had salt in it - so go easy on the salt), add lime juice to adjust sourness (just in case the curds used for marination wasn't sour enough). Add the powdered garam masala, mix and cover the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on full flame till the first whistle goes off. Reduce to sim & continue to cook for another 10-12 minutes (cooking time may vary depending on the tenderness of meat used - please use your judgement here.) Turn off the flame and allow the cooker to cool down and the weight to loosen on its own.
4. Open, stir and serve hot with chapathis or rice.
1. This recipe calls for copra (dried flesh of the coconut), however if you do not have it, you can use dessicated coconut or fresh coconut that has been dry roasted on a tawa.
2. Using sour curds for marination usually gives the best results, however you can add some lime if you are using fresh curds that is not so sour.