Achari Mutton….and New Year Resolutions

Do you believe in New Year Resolutions? Well, I do not – not because I do not stick by the resolution I made but because I think if you have decided to change anything about your life, then you need not wait till New Year to make that change.

The big lesson that I learnt in 2013 is ‘I am simply not capable of changing all things around me.’ It is not that I didn’t know this before but once in a while, something happens to ensure that you remember this. And the serenity prayer has suddenly once again made me a little more humble and forgiving.

For those who do not know the serenity prayer, it goes like this;

‘Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference!’

And this is going to be my main focus in the coming year too…..

Getting to the recipe, my first impression was that this must be a Punjabi dish simple because I found it in a Punjabi magazine and had the prefix ‘achari’ which can be loosely translated as pickled and spicy. But when I scanned through the list of ingredients, I found that the recipe called for the use of mustard oil, something very Bengali in my opinion. I am none the wiser as far as the origin of the dish goes, but I must say this is an amazing lamb dish, perfect for the Indian taste buds.

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I was a little apprehensive if the mustard oil flavour would overtake the dish but that did not happen. Couldn’t get my hands on kalonji/onion seeds, so used onion powder instead.

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Achari mutton – delicious, rich, dark, spicy and aromatic.

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Ingredients:

The original recipe used boneless mutton pieces but I used lamb cutlets instead.

1. Lamb cutlets – 1 kg
2. Red onion – 4 medium, finely chopped
3. Ripe red tomato – 4 medium, finely chopped
4. Ginger paste – 1 ½ tbsp
5. Garlic paste – 1 ½ tbsp
6. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
7. Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
8. Onion powder (use kalonji if you have) – 1 tsp
9. Cloves – 5
10. Fennel seeds/saunf – 1 tsp
11. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
12. Whole dry red chilli – 8
13. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, chopped
14. Mustard oil – 5-6 tbsp
15. Salt – to season

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Method:

• Roast mustard seeds, cloves, fennel seeds and whole dry red chillies. Grind to a fine powder and add turmeric powder, onion powder and red chilli powder to make the spice blend for the dish.

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• Heat oil in a kadai/deep bottom pan and sauté ginger-garlic paste. Add the ground spice blend and sauté for a minute.

• Add the lamb cutlets, mix well and brown for 5 minutes. Remove the cutlets and keep aside.

• In the same pan, add chopped onions and sauté till golden brown.

• Add tomatoes and sauté again till the oil clears.

• Return the lamb cutlets to the pan and add enough water to cook the lamb.

• Season with salt.

• Cook for 5 minutes on high heat and then slow cook till the lamb/mutton is soft and tender.

• Garnish with coriander leaves.

mutton achari

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I am not sure if this will be my last post for 2013, but anyway, wishing all my foodie buddies a wonderful, peaceful and blessed New Year!

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