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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!



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Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award!

I have been living crazy times for the past few days - cooking for a friend's little daughter's birthday and celebrating,re-arranging the living area of my home (post acquiring some new pieces of furniture) and keeping on my search for a nice lampshade to keep by my bed.
In the midst of all this, I have had the good fortune of being awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by Kitty of Kitty's Kozy Kitchen. My heartfelt thanks for this award,Kitty - I really appreciate this!Kitty has a very cute and homely blog of her own where she writes down about dishes that she lovingly cooks for her family.Please visit her blog to find out more about the wonderful recipes from her kitchen!

To quote from Kitty's blog - "The recipient of this award is asked to thank the blogger who bestowed this award upon them and to include a link back to their blog. Then to pass the award onto 15 other bloggers, include a link to each of their blogs and to reveal seven things about yourself that others may not know."

Well,it really difficult to write down seven such things about myself, because nothing ever made me think on these lines so far!So let me give it a try - 
1. Snuggling into bed with my favorite book, while raindrops drum on the window-sill by my bed is my idea of absolute euphoria.
2. The aroma and taste of oven-fresh bread makes me go weak in the knees!
3. I have a thing about languages, and the thought of mastering a completely new language and using it gives me an adrenaline rush.
4. I can be extremely strong-headed and stubborn at times, but a little pampering works wonders in turning  me around;)
5. I love taking long walks all by myself, just watching the world go by!
6. Movies from around the world fascinate me and I admire cinema that dwells on the practicalities of life.
7. Nothing gives me more pleasure than cooking and dining with people I love.

Phew!That was voluminous enough and see how I kept on going!Now for the better part - I am passing on this award to 15 beautiful blogs that I really enjoy reading. Please visit these blogs and find out for yourselves!

My Catholic Kitchen
A Whisk and a Prayer
Squirrel Bakes
Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes
Spicie Foodie
Dulce Dough
Burnt Carrots
Paaka Shaale
My Home Diary in Turkey
Gourmantine's Blog
A Homemaker's Diary
Monsoon Spice
Pass the Sushi

If you have already got the Versatile Blogger Award earlier,I'm sorry.But if not,please collect the award from my post and do take time to pass it on to others!Till my next post....take care!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Microwave Gajar ka Halwa (Indian Carrot Pudding) and Happy Diwali!

OK, so I wanted to wait before it was actually Diwali back home!
As a kid, Diwali was a festival that fascinated me with its fathomless spirit of festivity.It more or less trailed Kali Pujo or the sacred ritual of worshipping the Goddess Kali amongst us Bengalis which meant two consecutive holidays at school and that actually ballooned up all the fun!Kali Pujo meant getting pampered with firecrackers of all kinds, having the leeway of enjoying the evening at any friend's place whose parents would be kind enough to host a bunch of boisterous and super-energetic kids.Rituals were for the elders! Who cared, when all that I needed to do was pray and ask the Goddess for good marks in the exam that was nearest and for making me stay a good girl always!What lofty demands,but then I never wanted to debate when out of the corner of my eye,I could spy the firecrackers at stake!
And of course, there were the sweets and savories that went hand in hand with all the divine festivity.Living in a land far away from home now,the mind does go back to those days. But rather than wallowing in self-pity for losing out on all the fun, I find it better to try and make something that will help everyone around me feel the flavor of the festivity.And with the slew of microwaveable sweets doing the rounds in blog sphere, I settled  on Gajar ka Halwa or Indian Carrot pudding cooked the microwave way!Believe me, all the tricks that I tried worked and so I thought of sharing the recipe with you all. 
~Wish everyone a very happy and fun-filled Diwali!~

Linking this recipe to 'Diwali-festival of lights event','My Diwali My Wayand 'Festival Potluck'!

Microwave Gajar ka Halwa (Indian Carrot pudding)
You will need:
Carrots - 500 gms,finely shredded
Milk - 1 cup
Sweetened Condensed milk - 400 gms or 1 whole tin
Ghee or clarified butter - 4 tablespoons
Whole cashew nuts,for garnishing
Pistachios and almonds,finely chopped (optional)

How I made it:
1. Take a deep-bottomed microwave bowl and add the shredded carrots and milk. Microwave on HIGH for about 12 mins till the milk is reduced and the carrots start losing their rawness.

2. Next add in the while tin of sweetened condensed milk, stir everything together well and cook on HIGH for about 15 mins.Keep on checking the consistency and pause to open and give a stir,as and when needed.

3. If you need more sweetness, add in sugar from outside,but take care to have the carrot almost cooked when you add the sugar,otherwise it might become sinewy.Microwave for 5 more mins after adding the sugar.
4. Once done, add the Ghee and give a good stir.Microwave for another 6 mins and allow a standing time of 3 mins.Now bring out the bowl, add in the chopped pistachios and almonds. Finally garnish with cashew nuts and serve hot.Enjoy the sweetness and rich texture of the Gajar ka Halwa and wish everyone a very happy festive season!

Disclaimer: Every microwave oven has its own temperature and time settings.So I would urge everyone to keep a careful eye and adjust the settings as per the microwave at hand,and not go too religiously by my settings. Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rich and rocking - Red Kidney beans curry

Red Kidney beans has been an all-time favorite.Ever since I was a kid, I never had any complaints about slopping up the soft,mushy,deep red colored sacks packed with tons of iron inside. It did help that I was anaemic for most part of my life and every visit to the Doc for routine health check-ups would guarantee bowls of Red Kidney beans curry at the table!
My Mom had a lovely recipe for the Red Kidney Beans curry which she mastered from our next door Punjabi neighbors. Punjab is a province in the north western part of my country India and the Punjabis are absolute magicians when it comes to cooking any kind of beans, be it Red Kidney beans or 'Rajma' as it is popularly known or Garbanzo beans.The lady of the house was a skilled cook who would regularly cook this amber-colored Red Kidney bean curry with a sinful crown of fragrant melting butter at the top, and the bowl would invariably be lined with  a rich red, shimmery oily border seeping out of the curry. I admit that calorie-wise it could be a dieter's last call, but no one in the world can be in two minds about the taste - the glorious curry would taste out-of-the-world!I have come across ready-to-cook Rajma Masala packets in grocery stores, but I seriously doubt if they can re-create the magic that the home cooked curry with the homemade spices did!
Anyway, Red Kidney beans is still and will be a favorite of mine,unless and until it is ever banished from my wishlist by any ugly intrusion of excessive uric acid or blah blah blah in the future!Till then, I will go on cooking as many variations possible, another of my favorites being Red Kidney beans cutlets - the recipe for that is right here.I have my own measurements for oil,spices and butter when I cook my curry,just to be on the healthier side.But I do believe that you can always trade a bit here and there for such a gorgeous dish as this!So happy cooking and happy feeding friends!

Linking up to 'Hearth and Soul blog hop # 71' ,'Tuesdays at the table', 'Food palette series finale - Rainbow colors' at Torview and 'Midweek Fiesta # 3' a lovely blog event at Amy's place!

Red Kidney beans curry
You will need:
Red Kidney beans or Rajma - 100 gms, soaked overnight till the beans absorb water and become bloated to double their original size
Red onions - 3 medium or 2 large
Garlic - 4-5 fat cloves
Ginger - About an inch and a half
Green chilies,diced
Green peppers,diced
Red Bell peppers,diced
Tomato - 2 medium, diced
Turmeric powder - 2 tablespoons
Cumin powder - 2 and 1/2 tablespoons
Coriander powder - 2 tablespoons
Garam masala powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chili powder - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Butter - 3 tablespoons
Canola oil - 1 tablespoon

How I made it:
1. Wash the soaked and bloated beans well and boil in a large pot of water for about 30 mins,till soft and just on the brink of being mushy. You might want to boil with the lid on for quicker results or even use a pressure cooker (8-9 whistles) to make things work faster.

2. In a blender, blend to a thick puree the onions,garlic,ginger,green chilies, tomato and peppers. Chop into julienne a few pieces of garlic,that will be used to temper the cooking base.

3. In a wok, heat 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of Canola oil. When hot, add the julienned garlic cloves and allow it to turn a light brown. Take care not to burn the garlic.Add the Garam masala powder next and allow the masala to be blended well in the oil. This will bring out the flavor in the whole curry.

4. Next add in the pureed thick spice mixture and cook till it releases water and becomes even thicker. At this point, add in salt,turmeric,cumin, coriander and red chili powders and give a good stir. If the spice mixture tends to become too dry, add 2-3 tablespoons of water so that the spice mixture can be turned around and stirred easily.

5. When the spice mixture is cooked through, oil will gradually start to leave the edges. At this point, add in the cooked Red Kidney beans and mix everything well together so that the beans are coated evenly with the spices. Once done, add 2 small cups of water and bring to a boil.
6. When the beans are cooked and soft and the gravy has thickened quite a bit,take off the flame. Add a begerous blob of butter on top before serving and garnish with slivered red onions and green chilies.You may even add coriander or any other herb for decoration. Tastes best with Roti/Parantha or any type of Indian Flat bread or just plain white rice.Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Award time - The Liebster Blog Award!

Yippeee, I have got an award and this is a first for me!!I'm sooo happy!
Patsy of Pattycakes in the Kitchen has been a darling to give me the 'Liebster Blog Award'!I feel extremely honored to have been chosen for this award and feel humbled by the fact that my culinary fiddling found such an experienced and esteemed admirer for itself. I can't express in words how elated I feel!Thanks a bunch, dear Patsy!:)

The word 'Liebster' is a German word that essentially means 'dear' and is derived from the verb 'lieber' which means 'to love'.This award has been conceived with the idea to bright to light fledgling and upcoming blogs which have a follower count less than 200. I can boast of 33 at the moment (thanks to all my dear followers!) but just like everyone else,I hope to have more readers who would love to come over and read my blog!:)

So coming back to the rules, as the concept goes, the blogger receiving this award will need to:
1. Thank the giver who gave the award by leaving a comment on his/her blog and linking back to his/her post.
2. Write a post about the award and choose 5 blogs whom you would like  to give this award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers as well.
5. Thank all who read your blog and wish to follow you and of course - have fun!

On my part, I would like to pass on the Liebster Blog Award to 5 beautiful bloggers whose blogs I absolutely admire and love reading. In no particular order, they go like this:
1. Poppi Linn
2. Coconut Raita
3. Experiments of a housewife...learning every day!
4. The Weekend Epicurean
5. Simply Sweet 'n Savory

Hope you enjoy the award!Thanks to everyone who cares to drop in and read my blog - hope you have a nice time here and don't forget to let me know if you do!:)Till my next post...cheerio!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spicy Palak Pakoras for the nip in the air!

The mercury has suddenly dropped. While the East Coast is awash in rains, we too had an impromptu rainy spell down south early this week. Which explains the sudden fall in temperature and gusty winds.Oopsie, I'm already freezing!

I have always enjoyed feeling cold. As a kid, feeling cold would help me slip into warm woolens, would fetch me a mug of hot chocolate and most importantly, would make it so easy for me to leave behind homework and stealthily slip between cozily warm quilts and snuggle in with my favorite book, till I would be cradled off to sleep by all that comfort!What peaceful days!

And to go with all this, something spicy and crunchy to ward off the chill and yet help enjoy the crispness in the air! Hence a couple of evenings ago, I went into my kitchen to prepare spicy, crunchy and very tasty 'Palak Pakoras' or fried Spinach Fritters to go with cups of gently spiced sweet Ginger tea for friends who would be dropping in for a chat.As the chilly winds billowed outside and scathing rains lashed against the windows, we chatted our hearts out, sipped on our cups of tea and munched on the crunchy fritters - an evening to remember!

Sending this recipe to 'Full Plate Thursday' at Miz Helen's and Midweek Fiesta # 5'!!

Palak Pakora (Spicy fried Spinach Fritters)
You will need:
Spinach leaves - About a cup, finely chopped
Onions, finely chopped
Ginger, finely chopped
Green chilies, finely chopped (You may add Red Chili powder if you like it more hot)
Ajwain/Caraway seeds -  Half a teaspoon
Kalonji/Nigella seeds - 1/4th of a teaspoon
Salt,to taste
Gramflour/Besan - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons (May also use all-purpose white flour)
Rice flour - 1/2 a tablespoon

Canola oil, for frying the fritters

How I made it:
1. Mix all the ingredients listed above, other than the Canola oil, in a big bowl and knead everything together till water comes out of the Spinach leaves and forms a soft,pliable dough.I usually do not add water from outside, since the Spinach leaves release water on kneading. But if the dough becomes too dry or hard to bring together, you may add a tablespoon of water,or as required.

2. In a pan, heat enough oil to deep-fry the fritters. When the oil is hot enough, form rough little roundlets out of the dough, flatten out between your fingers and release into the hot oil. Deep fry till golden brown on both sides and serve hot with any spicy Chutney or Ketchup.Enjoy with family and friends!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lemony cooked Ziti pasta

I have been busy with a lot of things lately, but the major reason why I am not writing any posts regularly is because I'm falling short of  things to blabber about!
It's true that when I started out with this blog, I wanted to chronicle my culinary trysts and share them with others. But along with that, I also wanted to write about myself and the thoughts that I wantonly think about everything around me.But there have been days when had a recipe to write about but could not figure out what to chat about other than that!And that's what kept my recipe and my post waiting!
So for a couple of posts now,I'll talk a little less and write about the recipe and only the recipe.I was craving hot,spicy and cheesy rich homemade Pasta for a couple of days. So last week, while scouring the store for Pasta, I bumped into a packet of Ziti Pasta. Now I knew about Penne, Rotini, Tagliatelle, Fusilli, Fettucine, Spaghetti and Vermicelli, but I never knew that the hosepipe-shaped ones were called Ziti.Looking around for recipes I discovered that Ziti is mostly used in baked recipes,but I needed to cook it.So I thought about this recipe that has everything that a cooked Pasta dish has, dressed with a dash of tangy lemon and chilli.I really enjoyed it and hope you give it a try!Bon Appetit!

Linking this recipe to 'Presto Pasta Nights # 236' at 'The life & loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch', an event originally started by Ruth'Tuesdays at the table' and 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop # 70'! Also sending this to 'Full Plate Thursday' at Miz Helen's and 'Midweek Fiesta # 3' a lovely blog event at Amy's place !

Lemony cooked Ziti pasta
You will need:
Ziti pasta - 250 gms
Butter - 2 tablespoons
White chicken, chopped into sizeable chunks
Red onions - 1 whole;cut into thin slivers
Spring onions - Finely chopped
Garlic cloves - 1-2;finely chopped
Green peppers, julienned
Bell peppers, julienned
Green chilies, finely chopped
Cauliflower - Cut into very small florets
Button mushrooms,finely chopped
Italian seasoning - I used the Supreme Traditional brand. It is a very spicy concoction of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil,rosemary and sage leaves.
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Canola oil (for cooking) - 2 tablespoons

For the dressing:
Juice of  a lemon
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt, for taste
Ground Black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
Pickled chilies - 1 teaspoon or as per taste

How I made it:
1. Cook the Ziti pasta in boiling water till done. The Pasta should be firm and not squishy.Drain the Pasta and add a blob of butter to keep it oily.

2. In a pan, heat the cooking oil and butter together. Add the garlic cloves, green chilies and cauliflower florets to the hot oil and cook well till the cauliflower is cooked through.Next add the red slivered red onions,  spring onions and chunks of white chicken and mix everything together well.

3.Next add the julienned green peppers and bell peppers and the chopped button mushrooms. After a quick stir, add the cooked Ziti pasta and season generously with the Italian seasoning. Spread the shredded Mozzarella cheese on top and allow it melt.

4. For the seasoning, mix together the Olive oil, pickled chili, salt and black pepper powder till it reaches a spreading consistency.
5. Take the cooked Pasta off the flame and then drizzle over the lemon and chili dressing over the Pasta.Serve smoking hot and enjoy your cheesy lemony Pasta!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lessons,laughter and friends for life - Choco Peanut Butter Brownie

It happens at times,that something we would love to see ourselves doing,intimidates us the most!For me,this has been baking.Which explains the very few baking recipes till now on my blog!

From when I was a little kid, I loved to gorge on cream-frosted cakes and chocolate cakes and have it all smudged around my mouth untidily! I could go to any gluttony extent to get a bite of one! There was this lady in our neighborhood who used to bake really lovely cakes.All the mother's would flock over to her to have a birthday cake baked for their childrens' birthdays. And what marvelous creations she would dole out - each one being a brand new idea! The one I distinctly remember is her rendition of 'The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe'. One had to pinch oneself to believe it was a homemade cake and that's exactly how gifted she was!It looked like a page out of the fairy tale book itself, replete with a scrawny  old woman in her black caper,  a mammoth shoe with a snout for a nose and a chimney at the top. We eyed the merry fondant kids perched about on the edges of the cake and greedily waited for the candles to be blown out.And then we were just unstoppable! 
Now, this lady happened to have a sweet little daughter who again happened to be in the same class as mine.We were never close friends till then and so on her birthday, I naturally did not get an invite. But deep in my heart I knew, that her mother would create something spectacular that day!Just the lure of that cake made my crafty brain run and guess what? By evening we were the best of friends!Not only was I invited,but we remained friends from then on!And I know she must be having a hearty laughter now if she gets to read this!

If I had a way to, I would surely get a lesson on making cakes now from my friend's mom.But that's not possible now. So all I could do was turn to talented bloggers in blog sphere who were philanthropic enough to share their recipes and tricks for baking.I use the word philanthropic because you just can't imagine how helpless and wasted you feel when you have an oven at home, a fridge full of eggs,butter,milk, a pantry full of baking powder,baking soda and cornstarch and what not,and still you stand in the middle of your kitchen scratching your head and totally dumbfounded with the self-doubt that you can possibly bake a good cake!
But no longer!The baking bug could not hold me back any longer, and so I finally decided to bake my Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie. I had planned to bake it for a little buddy of mine, a friend's daughter, on her birthday but I refrained from announcing that beforehand,lest I ruined their expectations by presenting a gory mess!Thankfully enough,it turned out just the way I wanted it to (my first literal success with something baked but not a cake!) and I believed that was the case,because I could not manage to take clicks of the Brownie blocks after cutting them up - that's actually how fast the morsels flew off!So all I have is photos of the just-out-of-the-oven version.Can you feel me gloating already??

Now coming back to what I started with, my fear of baking is a lot diminished now and I plan to move ahead with other recipes. I just wish I could be so bold with other things in life as well, say, like chucking my job and becoming a blogger full time!!Yaay,what fun that would be!! Only if that feeds me, that is!But that seems like a remote possibility as of now,cause I don't even get that many comments on my posts, haaah!!If someday I do, I'll definitely think of doing something that I love to so much, cooking for my loved ones and plonking down to my laptop to share them with whoever cares to drop by my place:) So long,enjoy the recipe and have fun!!

Linking this recipe to 'Tuesdays at the table','Tempt my tummy Tuesday' , 'Let's do Brunch' , 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop # 69and 'Midweek Fiesta # 5'!

Also linking this recipe to 'Cooking Concepts # 6 - Chocolate Fest' at Srav's place!

Choco Peanut Butter Brownie
You will need:
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Castor or granulated sugar - 1 cup
Butter (at room temperature) - 1 and 1/2 sticks
Peanut Butter - 2 large tablespoonfuls (I used Skippy but any good quality Peanut Butter would be fine)
Eggs - 2
Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup (Use dark chocolate if you want a stronger chocolate flavor)
Instant Coffee powder - 2 teaspoons, mixed in half a cup pf lukewarm water
Vanilla essence - Half a teaspoon
Vanilla-flavored Yogurt (optional) - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Chopped walnuts

How I made it:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the insides of a a baking tin or Brownie tin or Loaf tin with parchment paper and butter lightly.
2. In a mixing bowl, take the butter at room temperature and the sugar and cream till fluffy. Add the peanut butter and cream on further till it changes color to a slight peach and remains fluffy.
3. Next add the eggs one by one. After adding an egg, beat well till it is light and repeat after adding the second egg. The batter will start getting glossy by this time.
4. Next add in the Cocoa powder and after a quick beat, add in the coffee. The coffee actually helps enhance the flavor of the chocolate.
5. Add the Vanilla essence and vanilla-flavored Yogurt(if using) at this point and beat well. Now start adding the all-purpose flour and fold it in gently. Add the flour in batches and add the next batch only when the previous batch has been folded in well.
6. When all the flour has been folded in, add half of the chopped walnuts in the batter and mix well. Next pour the Brownie batter in the lined baking tin and strew the rest of the chopped walnuts evenly over the batter. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or till a toothpick comes out with slightly moist crumbs at the bottom. Cut them into blocks and serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A specially spiced Mutton curry and Subho Mahanavami to all!

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!