Apart from playing a very significant role in the palates of Oriyas, mutton also played a significant role in defining one’s luxury quotient. If someone offers ‘good’ mutton in a marriage party, the taste used to linger around at least in the minds of people for quite some time. When I start thinking about mutton as part of the culinary culture of Orissa, there are so many social acts that comes smashing in front of me. I am sure if you are an Oriya, you can remember how people come out with a full stomach while picking their tooth after a heavy mutton meal.
However, to sum up, mutton plays a very significant part of an Oriya non-veg platter. Though there is not much of variations in preparing mutton, the difference could be very minimal when you travel across the state. So let’s try to cook some very typical Oriya Mansha Tarakari (Mutton Curry). I have tried to tweak it a little but for ease of cooking. Let me know your thoughts when you try this.
- 750 gms nice & tender mutton
- 3-4 Medium Sized Potato Cut Into Halves
- 1-2 tsp Cooking oil for frying potato (Mustard oil will certainly enhance the taste.)
- 3 medium sized onions
- Garlic 8 -10 Cloves
- Ginger 1 ½ inch
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 5-8 Black Pepper (Oriya: Gol Maricha)
- 3 Bay Leaf (Oriya: Teja Patra)
- 4 Whole Cardamom (Oriya: Aleicha)
- 5 Cloves (Oriya: Labanga)
- 1 Long Stick of Cinnamon (Oriya: Dalchini)
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 8 tsp of cooking oil (Again if you choose mustard oil, it will help you get the typical Oriya Mansha Tarkari aroma)
- 2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Oriya: Haladi Gunda)
- 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- 4tsp Yogurt (Dahi)
- Make a smooth paste of onion, ginger and garlic and half an inch cinnamon (I somehow prefer the fresh paste than the ones available ready-made in the shops). But you can use the packed paste as well.
- Marinate the mutton with 1 tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp red chili powder, yogurt/curd and 1-2 tsp mustard oil (optional) for 1-2 hours.
- Heat up a Kadhai or any heavy bottom Pan
- Add 1-2 tsp of cooking oil
- Shallow fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown.
- Keep them aside on kitchen-wraps or tissue paper to absorb excessive oil.
- Heat 7-8 tsp of cooking oil in a pressure cooker
- Temper it with Black pepper, Cinnamon stick, Bay leaf, whole Cardamom, Cloves
- Add sugar to this (This is primarily to enhance the color of the gravy) till it turns brown.
- Add the masala paste prepared in step 1.
- Add a little turmeric.
- Fry till the oil starts to come out. You can add a little water if the masala starts to stick to the vessel.
- Add the marinated mutton at this point
- Fry on medium heat for about 15 mints (till the oil stars to separate out) with the lid loosely covered
- Add fried potatoes
- Add water based on how much of gravy you want to make. For a medium thick gravy, you can add up to 2 cups of water
- Add 1 tsp of garam masala
- Fix the pressure cooker lid
- Cook on high head for 1 whistle and then cook on low heat for about 20 mins.
- Open the pressure cooker only after it cools down on its own.
- Check the tenderness of the mutton. If you require it to be softer, you could cook it for some more time
- Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve it with hot steam rice. Enjoy !