The temperature is hitting near to lowest in the year. It's freezing out there, under 5 degree Celsius. And everybody is fast drawing back to their habitats, shielding themselves from the bitter cold, except those who cannot help it. The streets seem to be deserted and the shops in the streets are at the lowest time of sales..
The son is so reluctant to go to school. It's difficult to wake him up in the chilly mornings. Only the prospect of getting two days holidays,this week is what gets him going. The room heater is always on duty; right from dawn to dusk. And laziness is at its highest peek especially in the quiet mornings.
So after the hassles and commotions of the morning; with the son at last send to school and the husband send to office, I usually cuddle up near the younger ones, enjoying the warmth of their blankets and the heater. It is such a nice time to sleep the day away.. But Alas! you cannot sleep to your fill! One of the kids would wake up and ask for food and I have to get up, though reluctantly wearing all the wool that is available in the house:)
Slowly, reluctantly you have to cast off the layer of laziness from you to become active in the kitchen again. Cooking to the appetite is the greatest way to ward off the chill. The warmth of the steam coming out of the pan on the stove, the aroma of spices which fills the kitchen with warmth, the gurgling sound of water as it boils in the kettle and the little chit chats of the son and daughter is all it needs to swing you into the mood...
So, I made Rogan Josh, the other day..one of my favourite Indian mutton preparations. As the name suggests, it is the synonym of intensity when it comes to flavour and spices. A passionate blend of spices, a sweet n sour kind of indulgence. Perfect for the weather, I say. It goes well with steamed rice and chappatis. I made it the restaurant style, the most popular way it has been prepared ever.
Rogan Josh (Restaurant Style) Recipe:
1 kg boneless lamb, preferably Indian
1tsp freshly ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground garlic
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree/ 3 tomatoes blended to pulp
8 cardamom pods/ elakka
2 bay leaves / vazhana ila
1 piece mace/ jathi pathri
6 cloves / grampoo
1 tbsp pepper corns
1 cinnamon stick(2 inches long)
1 tsp coriander pdr
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
3 tsp kashmiri chilli pdr
1 tsp chilli pdr
5 tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 tsp garam masala pdr
1/4 tsp black pepper pdr
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Coriander leaves/ cilantro to garnish
Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and brown the meat in it. Set aside.
- Put cardamom, bay leaves,mace, cloves, pepper corns and cinnamon stick into the same oil and stir.
- When the aroma comes out, add onions and saute until brown. Add the ginger garlic paste.
- Add cumin and fennel seeds and saute. Then add the chilli powders and saute in low heat
- Add tomato puree and saute. Adjust the salt and add fried meet cubes. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Add yogurt, 1 tablespoon at a time and stir well to combine.
- Now add a cup of water and bring to boil. Cook covered on medium heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the gravy from sticking to the sides and bottom of the pan. If you are pressure cooking, it may take 30 to 45 minutes.
- When the cooking is done and the gravy is nicely coated on the meat, sprinkle garam masala powder and black pepper powder on top.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with ghee rice or chappatis.