Coconut Poppy seed Mutton
The first time I slow cooked mutton was after reading an article where the author spoke to a member of one of India's erstwhile Royal families who harped on the beauty of a meat dish when it is slow cooked. That was it I slow cooked mutton , loved it and stuck to it and then there was this one time where the Cooking gas was delivered a month late than it was supposed to be delivered and the household was in a chaos. So for sometime I tried reducing the time taken for slow cooking by slow cooking in a pressure cooker for half the time and then slow cooking the meat which suited me not too badly but then again I must have not even known that in the corner of my heart I did miss slow cooking meat.
One of the wonderful things about interacting with people who are passionate about food is that sometimes matters related to cooking becomes even more clear to you. I am lucky to be part of a group where we have professional chefs and passionate home cooks interacting with each other and so I once again realized I had to slow cook meat and so I did and now its either slow cooking meat or no cooking meat. The flavour is amazing as is the texture of meat which is neither tough nor over cooked but sticks to its bones and melts in your mouth when you take a bite.
I love the flavour of coconut and spices so I was set on this spice mix from Lucknow which uses Charmagaz ( a blend of 4 seeds) etc but then alas I was out of charmagaz.
Thankfully I met with a friend who was talking about how people in our neighbourng state makes meat curry with Poppy seeds. And I knew exactly how I wanted my meat curry to be.
Marinating the mutton in raw papaya juice lessened the time of cooking by half an hour and in the end we licked our bowls clean with some piping hot rice.
From my personal experience the meat tastes even better if you leave it overnight post cooking where the flavours get absorbed even better and you have a wonderful breakfast or brunch for the next day.
800gm goat meat / lamb meat
For marination :-
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp raw papaya juice
130gm sliced onions
For the spice mix :-
2 tbsp heaped grated coconut
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 blades of mace
3 green cardamom
1.5 inch cinnamon
4 whole dried Kashmiri Red Chilies
2 fiery hot dried red chili (choose a variant which is hot)
100gm clarified butter
Marinate the meat in raw papaya juice and ginger garlic paste for about 3 hours to 4 hours.
Heat the ghee and fry the sliced onions on low to medium heat till its golden brown. take care not to overbrown it. Add the meat and immediately lower heat to absolute low , cover and cook for 30 minutes. Keep it on low heat throughout.
Now whisk the curd well and add it to the meat and stir continuously till it forms a homogeneous mixture.
Now take the ingredients of the spice mixture and leaving aside the fresh grated coconut dry roast the rest and let it slightly cool down and make a dry mixture, add the coconut and grind further and then keep it aside.
When you have cooked the meat for 1 hour from the time you started cooking it add the spice mixture and salt and lower heat sprinkle water and cover and cook for another 45 minutes to 1 hour till the meat is cooked through.
Keep sprinkling water and stirring every 15 minutes.
Once cooked cover and let the meat rest for 15 minutes and serve with hot piping rice
The resting period is crucial for better flavour and texture of meat.