Sunday, July 08, 2007
Mixed Up Fare
This was a post written with a lot of reservations, hence that title! I thought the picture of the mutton curry looked too red and chunky, the picture of the vegetarian dish too undistinguishable, but put it down to addiction to blogging, and hey presto, it becomes a post, deserving or not!
The vegetarian dish further below was an attempt at cleaning out my pantry – it’s made of whole green gram/moong that is at least two years old. Miraculously, it didn’t attract any life forms so I used it to make something called ‘siriyali’ that I found in a Telugu cookbook written by Ms J. Kanthamani. More about that later, on to the curry.
Nigella is a spice I love and use mostly in Bengali dishes, but over the years, have begun using it in others too. In the mutton curry, I threw in a teaspoon of nigella on an impulse and it made all the difference to this dish which didn’t have curry powder or other whole spices beyond the basic tastemakers.
Here’s the recipe:
Mutton: 250 – 300 gm (less than 1 lb)
Potatoes, chopped: 2 big (about 1 lb)
Onion, chopped: 2
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsp/1 tsp of each
Chilli powder: 1 – 1-1/2 tsp / as per taste
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Salt: To taste
Nigella/kalonji: 1 tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Water: upto 3 cups
Coriander/cilantro: for garnish
Note: I made this in a pressure cooker, I’ve never cooked mutton/lamb otherwise because I’ve known it to take ages without one.
Heat oil, add nigella.
Now add the onions, fry till pink-brown.
Then add the ginger-garlic paste, fry well, till you notice some oil around the edges of the mixture.
Now add the meat, saute till well browned.
Add the turmeric, salt and chilli powder. Mix thoroughly.
Now add the potatoes. Saute well.
Add water to cover the contents and a little more.
Close the pressure cooker and wait for the steam to build up.
Once it comes out of the vent, close it with the weight.
Let it whistle once, turn down to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
After the pressure drops on its own, check for doneness. If the meat isn’t soft enough, add some more water and cook for a little longer in the way described above.
Garnish with coriander.
Now on to the other dish. The original recipe called for hulled yellow moong dal so you could use that if you like, but I’ve no idea of how that would turn out.
Here’s how I adapted it:
Whole green gram/moong beans: 300 gm
Tamarind extract, watery: 4-5 tbsp
Urad dal/hulled black gram: 1 tsp
Dry red chillies: 2, broken
Curry leaf: 1 sprig
Chana dal: 1 tsp
Mustard seed: 1 tsp
Oil: 2 tsp
Turmeric: A pinch
Salt: to taste
Soak moong for 2-3 hours, wash well and grind it to a grainy mix.
Steam this in idli plates or in an ordinary vessel for 10-12 minutes. It will set, like a cake.
After it cools, cut it into small pieces, or just crumble it.
In a pan, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, add black gram, red chillies, chana dal, curry leaf, tamarind extract, turmeric and salt.
Add the crumble/pieces and mix. If you’ve cut it into pieces, don’t mix too much as they can break up.
It’s somewhat like a coarse, green upma, not bad tasting at all! Curds/yoghurt went well with it; so did some lime pickle. Could do for breakfast!
Green gram Mutton Breakfast Siriyali