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#RECIPE | Spicy Bengali Dish ‘Gondhoraj Mutton’ by Arijit Dey, from Kolkata

Today we’re bringing to you a dish all the way from Kolkata called  ‘Gondhoraj Mutton’! It’s a perfect dish to enjoy your weekend with! The recipe was shared by Arijit Dey, a Kolkata based fashion designer by profession and a passionate cook. He uses a special ingredient called Gondhoraj to make this dish, which is a native lime of Bengal. 

Arijit says he has always had a passion for food and his happiest moments have mostly been around food. Whether it was enjoying Gondhoraj Mutton with his family on Sundays or learning about food and culture from locals while traveling. This love is also what inspires him to share stories and recipes from different cultures with people!

It’s as delicious as it looks!

Gondhoraj lime can be easily found in online shops. The specialty of this lime is its fragrance and mellow flavour. You can also use kaffir lime leaves – but make sure to use it in lesser quantity as it has an overpowering taste compared to Gondhoraj. 

Ingredients:

  • Mutton (1kg)
  • Yogurt (200 gms)  
  • Garlic Paste (4 tbsp – hand-pounded or otherwise)
  • Ginger paste (4 tbsp – hand-pounded or otherwise)
  • Gondhoraj lime (4 pcs – 2* 2 lime juice in one bowl) 
  • Green chilli paste (1 tbsp – pound 5-6 chilies roughly)
  • Mustard oil (3 tbsp)
  • Potatoes (3 medium-sized)
  • Turmeric (1 tbsp) 
  • Salt (check taste)
  • Dried red chilies (5-6 pcs)
  • Black peppercorns (½ tbsp)
  • Bay leaves (2 pcs)
  • Cinnamon stick (1 pc)
  • Onions (2 chopped)
  • Cumin Powder(1 tbsp) 
  • Coriander Powder (1.5 tbsp) 
  • Red chilly powder (2 tsp)
  • Sugar (1 tbsp)
  • Lime leaves (10-12)
  • Garam Masala (1 tsp)

 

Cooking method:

  1. Take a kilo of mutton and wash it thoroughly.
  2. Next, grab a bowl and add the following ingredients:                                  yogurt (regular kind works well, do not spend on Greek yogurt) + 2 tbsp of garlic paste + 2 tbsp of ginger paste + 2 gondhoraj lime juice + green chilly paste + 1 tbsp mustard oil. Mix well.
  3. Add the cleaned pieces of meat to this mixture and massage well, making sure all the pieces are well coated with this yogurt mix. Marinate it for about an hour. (I keep mine in the fridge, you can do the same)
  4. In the meantime, peel and chop the potatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of turmeric and some salt,  then fry the pieces in oil. We want the potatoes to turn golden brown & blistered in parts.
  5. Put 2 tbsp heat oil in a pressure cooker, and add the following whole spices: dried red chilies + black peppercorns + bay leaves + cinnamon stick. Once fragrant, add in the onions and fry it till it turns golden brown and soft.
  6. Now, add in the rest of your ginger & garlic paste and fry for 1 minute or so. Add these spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, and red chilly powder. Mix well on high flame till the raw smell is replaced by a spicy aroma.
  7. It’s finally time to add in the mutton to the pan and give a good mix – on a medium-high flame (remember to keep the marination bowl aside for later use). Do not be alarmed, if the mutton gives out a lot of water it is completely normal. Simply cook it till all the water evaporates. Do not hurry this process.
  8. Once the water is evaporated, add salt to taste, sugar and the rest of the Gondhoraj limes – juice, the lime leaves and some hot water to cook the mutton in the pressure cooker. (You can use the marination bowl to add this water so that the water could absorb the remaining marination was left behind). Give a good mix and then, add the fried potatoes before closing the cooker. Cook it for 2-3 whistles.
  9.  Once done, add half a teaspoon of Garam Masala powder and cook it for another minute. Done!
  10. This dish is traditionally served with steamed rice in Bengali homes, like mine! It is also another custom that after you have your meal, you take a nap (a siesta is a mandatory ritual for Sundays)!

Warm and zingy to give you the best Sunday afternoon.

Extra Notes so you don’t get caught in kitchen chaos:


1. Do not remove all the fat from the meat. Remember, it’s the fat that renders itself and adds to the flavour of the mutton curry, not only in this but in all cases.

2. I used dried lime leaves (you will always find a bag full stacked up in zip-lock in my freezer), re-hydrating them in warm water for 5 mins. You can, of course, use fresh ones, since they should be easily available now.

3. A friend of mine, after hearing from me, tried making this recipe, with one scary mistake. She squeezed the life out of the lime slices and added the lifeless pieces of lime to her curry while cooking it. There is a risk of adding in bitterness to your beloved and awaited curry. It’s advisable not to do this.

You can find more recipes like this on his Instagram page! The profile will also lead you to his blog, Beguni Chef, where he shares more such amazing recipes and stories! 

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