Rather ... Bapi's way.
Sunday lunches were mainly of mutton curry and rice, back at home, in my childhood.
But at most times, the mutton curry would be different. Sometimes it would be the spicy, very rich jhol/gravy kind.
At other times it would be a lighter version of the same. Winter noons would see a stew, which we would enjoy with hot rotis or bread ... it used to be so cold we did not want to have rice.
On other days, it would be a kosha or spicy, dryish dish that we had with either ruti/ rotis or luchis.
And at times, Bapi would try his hand at cooking mutton.
He loves trying out new recipes, especially from the Bengali magazines.
So, every week, he would pick a recipe and wait till Sunday to try it out.
And I would be his assistant then.
I knew nothing of cooking at the time. But it felt good to be there with Bapi, listening to him counting out loud the number of garlic cloves, or asking me to pass him something.
He would keep the recipe page open, follow the measurements and instructions down to the last letter and keep on checking and re-cheking if the amount of water is just right, or just a tad more of salt is needed.
And the best part came when we sat down for lunch. The dish would be much discussed, appreciated and there would be mental notes on what to do the next time to make it a little more different ... and better.
A little of this more, a little of that less or to be plain omitted.
Sometimes, when the dish turned out very different from what expected ... an usual thing when following recipes from magazines, he would say with all seriousness ... "Ora eta nischoi ranna kore dekheni ... emni likhe diyeche. " :-)
Something that I follow now, on my Kichu Khonn ... every dish has to be cooked and tasted first ... and then presented here.
One such mutton dish that Bapi used to make very frequently is the Mutton chaanp or the ribs. The reason, I guess, is the simplicity of the recipe. No complicated steps, not too many ingredients.
Just a few things put together and cooked on low heat.
Not too dryish, not much gravy ... simply flavoured and easy to make.
I love the way Bapi cooks the mutton ribs.
Mutton chaanp or the rib pieces
Red chilli powder
Turmeric powder (very little)
Raw papaya - grated
Whole garam masala - cloves, cinnamon, black cardamoms
How to :
Marinate the mutton ribs with the curd+ginger paste+garlic paste+red chilli powder+grated papaya+ turmeric powder+mustard oil for around 2 hours.
Then heat some mustard oil in a pressure cooker.
Add the whole garam masalas. Sprinkle the sugar in a layer covering the base of the cooker.
Just when the sugar starts to caramelize ... it will start to bubble and change colour ... be careful not to burn it ... add the marinated mutton and salt.
Give a good stir, put on lid and cook for 4 whistles.
(I usually do not add water ... but if in doubt, you can add half a cupful ... and then dry it up later.)
And of course, if you want to, you can have it with rice too.