The concept of double-cooking is not something new in culinary art and fine dining. However, I thought of trying the same concept at core but something innovative while applying the concept. For those who want to know bit more on double-cooking – Double-cooking is a strategy of cooking usually applied on relatively harder meat in order to make the meat tender and to preserve the perfect flavour as well. In double-cooking, the meat is passed through two rounds of cooking processes one after another; usually once on a frying pan and then in the oven or vice versa. I have however, pulled a treasure out of the traditional Eastern Indian kitchen and applied the concept of double-cooking in my own innovative way on it to create this ‘never-cooked-before’ delicacy which I believe will be mesmerising you if you try it in your kitchen! Try this for a weekend lunch; it takes good amount of time to dish it out.
Round 1: Cooking the meat on pressure – A traditional way to cook mutton curry in Eastern India
Take 350 gm of mutton (lamb can also be used) cut into small pieces with bones and keep aside dry. Heat up half a cup of mustard oil in a wok. Add 1 cup of onion paste with 1 cup of minced onion into the wok. Stir fry until the onion turns brown and aroma comes out. Then add 1 tsp of garlic paste into the wok and continue stir frying. Add 2 tbsp of ginger paste and stir fry. Add 1 smashed tomato into the wok and stir fry to mix it well. Now add 1 tbsp of turmeric powder followed by 1 tsp of red chilli powder and stir to mix it uniformly. Then add the mutton pieces into the wok and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add 3 cups of water into the wok and reduce the heat. Take a pressure cooker and transfer the whole content of the wok into the cooker. Add some more water into the cooker if needed to submerge the mutton pieces completely. Cover the lid of the cooker and turn on the heat. Usually it should take 7 to 9 whistles to cook the mutton depending on the quality of the meat. Turn off the heat after the last whistle. Note – too many whistles would overcook the meat and will result in the fibres separated out from the bones and dissolved in the curry; so, do not allow more than 9 whistles assuming the meat quality is good enough. After 15 minutes, open the lid and take the mutton pieces out of the curry in the cooker and keep in a bowl separately.
Round 2: Cooking the meat in wok – A ‘never-cooked-before’ style
Heat up 3 tbsp of refined oil in a wok. Add 2 tbsp of minced garlic and stir fry until it turns brown and aroma comes out. Add 1 tbsp each of dry-roasted and crushed fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper and white pepper into the wok and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Then add a cup of julienne cut fresh spring onion followed by the mutton pieces into the wok and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Remove the wok from heat.
Take a serving plate and put the stir fried mutton pieces on it. Take a serving bowl and transfer the curry into it taken straightway from the pressure cooker. Serve the mutton pieces on the plate and the curry in the bowl kept side-by-side together. For best taste and flavor, the mutton pieces should be consumed separately followed by a sip of the curry. Goes best with Indian breads like chapati, paratha, naan, roti etc.