And lots of happy thoughts.
When I had cooked this light mutton curry, I had some friends staying over.
There was much banter and an easy air all over in the house. Light food and close friends always make for a cosy, homely feel.
So I had thought I would write about all the fun we had and about all the food we took turns to cook.
But the months passed, not to mention the dark ones, and the photos languished in my folder.
In fact, when I started to post again, I kept skipping this recipe, waiting for better days that will echo in my post.
Which is why, right now, I have a recipe of the Chole tikki in my drafts.
But a few days back, I wrote on my Facebook page as to which recipe would my readers like to see in my next post.
And Monalisa wrote in to say " Light mangshor jhol sounds yummylicious!! Light golden jhol is apt for the gloomy lazy days of winter"
My friends have been a huge support the last few months.
Always with me when I needed them. A warm word here. A strong encouragement there.
Asking about my absence. Inquiring after my health.
So I will let the Chole tikki sleep in the drafts for a little while longer.
My friends will get what they want. So decided to make this post on the light mutton curry right away.
The sun has set on 2015 a few hours back.
Now comes the waiting part. Waiting for a new day. A whole new year.
New hopes. New fears.
New aspirations. New achievements.
2015 has taken much from me. I just hope 2016 will, if not give anything, not take anymore.
This jhol is light, runny and is light on spices.
It does have garam masala but in much less quantity than usual.
I have used chilli flakes, that I ground at home, for a little heat; you can skip that in case you want a plain jhol.
This is very different from the rich Mangshor jhol, that I make when I have guests.
Ma used to make this when she ran short of time.
Or in winters ... but that would have carrots, green peas, cabbage, etc.
I just added the much loved aloo or the potato ... a must in a mutton curry for Bengalis.
Mutton - ½ kilo, cleaned and washed
Potatoes - 2, halved
Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Curd - 1 teacup
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp ( I use mustard oil )
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a little
Black cardamom - 2. crushed
Black cardamom powder - just little pinch or maybe half a teaspoon (grind them fresh if possible)
Cinnamon - 1 small piece, crushed
Chilli flakes - 1 tbsp ( I dry roast red chillies and give them a short burst in the mixie )
Grated ginger - 1 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
How to :
Marinate the mutton with the curd + ginger + garlic + turmeric + chilli flakes.
I do not add salt in the marination.
Keep aside for at least half an hour.
Of course, you can keep it for a longer time or make it immediately if you are pressed for time ... but then, as everybody knows ... the longer the marination time, the better the flavours.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add the sliced onions and fry on low heat till well browned.
Add the crushed cardamom + cinnamon.
When you start to get the aroma, add the mutton and stir well for a while ... till everything is mixed properly. No need to fry for a very long time ... as in 'koshao'ing.
Raise heat, add the potatoes and enough water to make a gravy.
( I do not fry the potatoes first ).
Add salt and sugar.
Sprinkle the cardamom powder all over it.
Close lid and cook for 4 whistles on low heat.
The cooking time depends on the quality of the mutton ... so if needed you may cook for a few more whistles.
Remove from heat and cool.
Remove cover and check for the consistency of the gravy. If needed add water to make it thinner, but do check the salt accordingly.
Some chunky mutton pieces, some robust flavours in a spoonful of this light jhol, some winter sun, some chill in the air ... all make for a great lunch ... holiday or otherwise.
Revel in health, love, sunshine and food, dear friends.
Wish you much happiness in the coming new year.