I do get the proud mama feeling very often when I'm watching either of my kids do something, but I never expected to feel this way about my better one-third. Yet here I am, simply bursting with pride, and all because of a simple thing - A cooked a delicious mutton curry this weekend ( going by reports since I'm veg), that too all by himself with no help from moi since I was out of town on work. Some of you may have read my earlier post on men in the kitchen and decided that A was not one of those men cut out to do the cheffing, of a weekend.
It all started when I bought Ismail Merchant's cookbook which had A salivating over the non-veg recipes. And A made a resolution this year that he would try and cook something. The thing is, his office has a tradition of one of the people bringing in a special dish on fridays. A being a muslim, they expected his lunch to be a lot more enticing to non-veg diners, with kebabs, biryanis and meat curries being ferried regularly. They turned their noses up in disgust when faced with day after day of tori, tinda and lauki, and his reputation ( and mine) were severely challenged until the day he took this and this with him. But that still didn't spare him from the stigma of being a muslim who never brought meat dishes to the office. Which is what eventually sparked off this burning chefly desire.
So on Sunday, with a little help from our cook in terms of chopping the onions etc, A embarked on his culinary adventure. It took a long time for the mutton to be cooked to his liking, and he made it according to a recipe I had made up. Thankfully, he didn't scorch either himself or the kitchen. And as he was finishing up, our picky-eater son came running into the kitchen to indignantly demand why he hadn't been offered whatever it was that was smelling so good along with his dinner. On getting a piece, Chubbocks's hand went up in the index-finger-meets-thumb universal sign of appreciation. Which is about the best compliment going, in our house.
A and colleagues had it for lunch yesterday and A received many compliments. So, hats off to the new chef in the house! ( pictures will follow).
1/2 kg mutton, cut into chunks
2 onions, chopped finely
1 inch ginger and 3 pods of garlic, minced together
15 gms almond paste
1 cup home made curds( yoghurt)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp aamchur( dry mango powder)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3-4 whole black peppers
1-2 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
2 cups hot water
1 tbsp coconut powder
2 tbsp oil
Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed wok. Put in the turmeric, then the cumin and wait for it to turn toasty. Add the coriander powder and stir for 1-2 minutes. Pop in the cloves and peppers, add the onions and cook, stirring periodically until they turn brown. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and cook until it loses the raw smell. Add the almond paste, coconut powder, cinnamon powder, yoghurt and mutton and stir to mix well. Cook for a few minutes on low, then add the hot water, chilli powder and aamchur and salt and cover the dish. Let it cook covered for half hour and then remove the lid. Cook on a low flame until the mutton is tender - about 45 minutes or so. Serve hot with rotis or crusty bread, or with rice and a lentil dish.