Yes,the Pujo fever is still on! Back home, the sun has come down on Mahanavami (9th day of Pujo) evening - everyone has soaked in the last mirth of this year's Pujo. Some have even started planning for next year's Pujo. Despite everything, the air is straddled with a strange heaviness. Just one more day and then the glass chandeliers rented from the para decorators will be hauled down. The wobbly metal-framed cane chairs,bearing the decorator's garish insignia in bright red,will be stacked one top of the other and carried away in noisy Matador vans.The Pandals will be left unceremoniously empty after Maa Durga leaves for her husband's place.As a kid, this would be such a painful thought even amidst all the celebrations.It still is!
On our part, we along with friends had driven down four hours to another friend's place where we had been very cordially invited to participate in the Durga Pujo celebrations. The experience was an absolute delight and we had a grand time mingling with the crowd and having our fill.The chanting of sacred Mantras rent the autumn air as children shrieked and frolicked on the carpeted verdant lawns of the Community Center.Inside, Maa Durga watched everything with an indulgent smile on Her ruby red lips - She could feel the happiness around because She was home. Maybe She too was soaking it all up to dwell upon later on, whenever the heart would long to be back home!
I have to mention here, the pretty American lady, who sat patiently before the Mother Goddess with everyone else, while all the auspicious rituals went on.She offered 'Pushpanjali' to the Goddess and even tried her best to mouth some of the rigid Sanskrit Mantras when the offerings were being done. I couldn't help but admire her zeal and enthusiasm and realized that herein lies the fulfillment of the objectivity of such a ceremony - the coming together of hearts,minds and souls!
We drove back home Sunday night with all the happiness nestling peacefully in our hearts.But deep inside,we know that back home, it was just 'Sasthi' (6th day of Pujo). So four more days of merriment,rejoicing and everything that the heart felt like doing!At my home here, I have been following Pujo by the dates, so it is still Navami for me.After a full day of vegetarian Khichudi, Beguni, Labra and Chutney for lunch and Koraishutir Kochuri and Aloor Dum for dinner on Mahashtami (8th day of Pujo) yesterday, it is out and out Mutton Curry today!So here goes my very spicy Mutton curry recipe for all of you to enjoy on Mahanavami!Have a very happy Pujo and peace and happiness for everyone!
Here are my other posts and recipes related to Durga Pujo. Read on, if you want to find out more.
There is something about Pujo!
Time for festivities galore and Aloo Fulkopi Posto!
This post of mine goes to Miz Helen's lovely annual event 'Texas Star Chili Cook Off 2011'.Check out the event for yourself!
Also sending this curry recipe to the lovely event 'Hot n spicy treats' being hosted by Amy at her lovely blog 'Food Corner'. Do take a peek and join in to enjoy the spicy party!!
Spicy Mutton Curry
You will need:
Mutton - 1lb (About 500 gms)
1 whole big Red onion or 4 Red onions,if small
Whole garlic - 4-5 cloves
Ginger - 2 inch
Green chilies - 5-6 as per taste
1/2 a whole Green pepper - Diced
1 whole Tomato
Curd or Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 2 and 1/2 tablespoonfuls
Roasted cumin powder - 2 and 1/2 tablespoonfuls (Dry roast whole cumin seeds and then grind to powder)
Roasted coriander powder - 2 tablespoonfuls
Black Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala - 1 and 1/2 tablespoonfuls
Bay leaves - 2
Mustard oil/Canola oil - 4 tablespoons
Salt and sugar to taste
How I made it:
1. Wash the mutton pieces very well and dry with a kitchen towel. Keep aside in a dry bowl.
2. Blend together half of the Red onion(if big) or 2 Red onions (if small),garlic, ginger, green chilies, diced green peppers and the tomato in a blender to form a thick and fine Masala paste.Take care not to add water while blending because many of these ingredients have water of their own and there is no need to add water from outside.
3. Add the Masala paste to the mutton pieces and rub the Masala very well on the mutton pieces. Add 1 tablespoon each of Turmeric and roasted Cumin powders and 1/2 a tablespoon of roasted coriander powder. Mix together and then add 1/2 a tablespoon of curd/Yogurt. Next add 1 tablespoon of Mustard/Canola oil and give another good mix. Cover the bowl and keep aside for marinating for 1 hour.
3. Cut the remaining half of the Red onion(if big) or 2 Red onions(if small) into very fine slivers and sift roughly with your hands so that they all separate out.
4. When the mutton has marinated, heat about 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in a deep-bottomed pan. When the oil is hot enough, add the Bay leaves and the slivered Red onions. Next add the Garam Masala powder and fry well till the onions turn deep brown.
5. Next add in the marinated mutton pieces one by one into the pan. Place the pieces into the pan first and give a quick stir so that the mutton pieces get coated with the fried onion and Garam Masala mixture. Then add the marinade into the pan and start mixing eveything together vigorously.
6. When the Masala gets fried well, add in the remaining Turmeric, roasted cumin and roasted coriander powders, Black pepper powder, half a teaspoon sugar and about a teaspoon of salt. Add the Red chili powder and the remaining curd and watch the color of the dish change to a lovely ochre.
7. When oil starts coming out of the Masala, you can be sure that the Masala is cooked through. Now add in about 3 cups of water, lower the flame and cover the pan with a lid to allow the mutton to be cooked.
8. Keep checking back the mutton(it usually takes some time for the mutton to be softened). Allow the curry to come to a boil on a low flame and then check to see if the mutton is done. The mutton should be soft and juicy.Serve hot with fluffy,plain white rice with a lemon wedge to go with it and enjoy the flavors!
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