5 weeks. 5 friends. 5 tasty dishes. I cannot believe how the time has flown and I am so grateful for it. It is also with considerable love and joy that I welcome the last friend to finish off the series. Feasting with Friends is a weekly series where blogging friends share their Ramadan & Eid recipes. It kicked off with Butter Over Bae and her Behari Chicken, then came Chai and Churros with Tikka Tarts, Chili to Choc with Vegetable Noodle Spring Rolls, and Hungry Paprikas with Yogurt Dill Pasta. Now the final guest is Pots n Curries whose sharing this masala-licious Pakistani Mutton Handi.
Fatima of Pots n Curries is a remarkable foodie. Her interest and enthusiasm for recipes Pakistani and otherwise is something that constantly blows me away. From her deep dives into the history of every dish she makes to her series Cooking Beyond Borders her thirst for food knowledge and new techniques is insatiable. She is not just a courageous cook, but one with an incredible warm heart. The world of instagram would not be the same without her and neither would my community of friends there. Fatima’s endless love has bolstered more of us than I can count. I personally owe her a great debt. Without further ado I will hand this over to my beautiful friend who will share her Mutton Handi recipe.
Fatima – Pots n’ Curries
I am Fatima Ali and I am a food blogger. I have been blogging for the past 5 years. About one and a half years ago, I launched Pots ‘n Curries . It is a blog that brings Pakistani food on the international stage by promoting traditional Pakistani flavors and techniques. I am also interested in knowing and sharing the history behind our recipes. I am inquisitive about where they originated, how they evolved over the years and how different sub-continent cultures adopted them.
I started as a home-cook who was keen about learning and understanding flavors and techniques involved in making good food. I strongly believe that life brings us opportunities at every step of the way, and it is up to us to grab them. Food blogging has been one of the best decisions I made. Cooking good food has always been my passion and sharing it makes me happy.
When I started Puts ‘n Curries, I was not sure about the direction that my blog should take. Although I knew what I wanted to do, I was confused about how I will get there. Sarah was my first blogger/Instagram friend and my gateway to the rest of the community. Her love, appreciation, and encouragement helped me define a road map for my blog and here I am today. Sarah and her blog hold a special place in my heart. I want to express my gratitude to this incredible friend for inviting me to be a part of her Feasting with Friends series.
The process used to create a curry defines which variation you would end up with, even if same ingredients are used. Slow cooking will render the taste and flavors differently than the high flame cooking. The selection of a cooking utensil is equally important in yielding the perfect flavors and textures. Balti Gosht/Matka Gosht / Karahi Gosht / Handi Gosht are perfect examples of the most famous traditional dishes in Pakistani cuisine. They were named after the pots in which they were cooked. No matter what the recipe is, the secret lies in the method of cooking and how the ingredients are treated to extract maximum flavor.
Today, I am sharing a Mutton Handi recipe which is rich, creamy and flavored with aromatic whole spices and nuts. Everyone has their version of chicken handi inspired by restaurants, cooking shows or a family recipe taught by grandmothers & mothers.
I cook the mutton by marinating it in yogurt and garam masala then simmering it in a rich, creamy masala. For making the smoothest masala curry, make the onion paste and boil it before using in the curry. It is one of the secret steps used in restaurants by chefs. For the creamy and nutty flavor, use almond and cashew nut paste along with grated coconut. In order to do justice to the dish, I cooked mutton in a handi (clay pot). This recipe will definitely help you to create a restaurant level mutton handi in your kitchen.
Add love and sincerity and your recipe will never fail you. Enjoy this special Mutton handi with your family and friends and share your feedback with us.
A traditional Mutton Handi cooked in rich spices
- 750 g Mutton (bone in)
- 1 tbsp Garlic Ginger Paste
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 cup Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Oil
- salt (to taste)
- 1 Onion Boiled and blended to a paste
- 1 tbsp Garlic Ginger Paste
- 2-3 Pureed tomatoes
- 2-3 Finely chopped green chilies
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/2 tsp Coriander Powder, roasted and ground
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder, roasted and ground
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1/4 cup Cream
- 7 Almonds soaked overnight
- 3 Cashews soaked overnight
- 1 tsp Coconut Powder
- 1/4 cup Oil
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 2-3 Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Black Cumin
- 1 Black Cardamom
- 1 tbsp Butter/Ghee
- 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- Coriander (chopped)
- Mint Leaves (chopped)
Marinade the meat in the marinade ingredients, overnight is best otherwise 2 hours. Remember to soak the nuts when your marinade the meat!
In a frypan, heat 2 tablespoon of oil. Add marinated meat and fry until mutton pieces are brown. Remove and set aside. This step is just to give meat a deep golden-brown color and lock the marinade flavors in the meat; mutton won’t be cooked thoroughly.
Blend onions with water in a smooth paste and give the paste a good boil. Once it boils, strain the water completely from the onion and a smooth onion paste is ready. This step gives the masala a smooth, creamy texture.
Soak tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes, the skin will peel off easily. Blend the tomatoes into a fine puree. Set aside.
Grind the nuts (almonds, cashew and coconut) into a coarse paste. Use as little water as possible and keep it aside. Nuts will add richness to the masala.
In a handi (clay pot) or regular pot, add a quarter cup of oil and add all the whole spices (bay leaves, cloves, black cumin, black cardamom, cinnamon). Once they sizzle add the onion puree.
Let the onions cook until they turn light brown. This step is important and would take 8 – 10 minutes.
Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chili and sauté until the rawness of ginger garlic ends – say half a minute.
Add fried meat from before. Mix the meat into the onion’s masala, sautee for one minute.
Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric, roasted cumin and coriander powder. Sautee the spices nicely, so the raw flavors of the spices diminishes. Be careful that spices don’t burn. Cook the masala on medium flame. Add a dash of water if needed.
Add the pureed tomato paste and let the meat and masala cook. Bhounfy the masala well (ek jan ho jaye masala) and cook until oil separates.
Once, the masala is nicely cooked (bhoun jaye) add water or stock (as required) to cook the meat. Let the meat simmer on medium flame until it is tender. A smooth, dense gravy will be formed.
When the meat is fully cooked add the nuts paste for richness.
Lastly add the freshly crushed black pepper and fenugreek leaves (slightly crushing with the hands) and cream. Mix and let it simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes on low flame.
Right before serving, prepare a tarka of garam masala powder. Heat one tablespoon of butter or ghee. As the butter melts add garam masala powder, when it sizzles pour it on the mutton handi. Slight mix and let it cook on dam for 5 minutes. Garnish. Serve.