Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mutton Korma/Mangshor Korma -- with coconut and cashew

This has been a busy month for us with friends visiting and the girls' schedule brimming with what they call "stuff". In between, there has been Mutton Korma and Mangshor jhol but first let me talk about the stuff.

Mutton Korma/Mangshor Korma

This "stuff" seems to have taken over their lives, making me and their dad run around, dropping, picking up, taking off work to attend school meetings that discusses new test patterns and such obscure stuff and then off to attend more obscure events where I am supposed to help my kindergartner make dolls for Heritage Day.

Yes, you heard it right. Dolls !!! At first when the school sent home a letter seeking volunteers for the event, I quickly trashed it. I had volunteered at LS's class for Valentine's Day and enjoyed myself immensely but I had also found that the class-moms were super craft-y, so no way was I going and making a fool of myself in this project, I decided. Them Dolls, I am not making, I had reassured myself several times.

In a couple of days however LS started complaining. A few of her friend's parents had come in to help make the doll and she wanted me to be there too. "Their doll is going to be perfect. Mine will be made by Mrs.Z and it will not be that good", she wailed.

Apparently the child has more faith on me than her teacher. God, don't prove her wrong. Please. So very hesitantly, I e-mailed the teacher and landed in her school one day, only to hear that LS did not want her doll to be Indian.

"M and S have already made Indian dolls. I want to make a doll from another country", she said

"Err LS...but it is for Heritage Day. You have to make something from the country where your parents and grandparents are."

"But I don't want to do your side of the family. I want to do Baba's side", she said

Now her Baba is more Bengali than most and speaks nothing but Bengali at home and not even an alien from Jupiter would mistake him for a non-Indian.

"What do you mean his side ? He is from India too," I tried to drum reason in to her.

"But Thammi doesn't live in India. They live in XYZ", she wailed, XYZ being a suburb about 3 hours from Calcutta.

She was visibly depressed at the revelation that XYZ was indeed in India and then her interest in the doll took a dive. Thankfully, the kids had already done the cutout and the drawing etc. in class. All we had to help was with the costume and hair. With the variety of supplies available in school, this did not seem as daunting a task, as I had imagined. And guess what I learned in Kindergarten ? How to use a glue gun!

Picture of her doll is in the Kid's Blog.

The best thing amidst all this running around, was the Holi party that we pulled off on a whim, one Saturday. With temperatures dipping to 40s on most days and it being really chilly, the idea did not seem great at first. But then how is a Holi party, Holi if done in May ? Tell me? So, after checking umpteen times, when Saturday showed promised of going into higher 50s, we bought abir, took a day off to cook and played Holi.

I have never been a Holi fan to be honest. What with  my OCD and such, behind every colored face all I see is hours of clean up. But for this once, I steeled my resolution, shoved my OCD into a closet and shut it tight. And guess what ? The colored faces turned out to be happy and very easy to clean. The girls and their little friends loved the riot of colors and had a blast.

Though I was afraid that BigSis might not like the mess, she enjoyed her first time playing Holi thoroughly.
LS enjoyed herself at the beginning but with color permeating in her hair, she soon got fidgety and wanted to take a shower. At least one of them has got my genes.

Now to this Mutton Korma which I made one weekend for the husband-man's friend. My Mother makes a Mutton dish like this but hers is more heavy on spices. Along with coconut she also grinds whole coriander and garam masala to make a spice paste. Mine is based on this Chicken Korma but I have used little coconut here to make the dish more rich and creamy. It was a good dish, different from our regular Mangshor Jhol

Start off with 4 lb of mutton, cleaned and washed. Get the back leg or front shoulder of goat from your butcher

In a blender jar add
1/2 Cup Yogurt
6 pods of garlic(I get real fat pods of garlic here but the smell is not too strong)
2" of ginger
and make a paste

In a big bowl marinate the mutton in following
the ginger+garlic+yogurt paste
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Mirch/Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Mustard oil

I usually marinate mutton overnight but if you are short of time an hour or two should be okay.

Now heat some oil in a wide mouthed pan.

Temper the oil with
2 Black Cardamom
4 small green cardamom
4 clove
2 small tej patta
2" stick of cinnamon

Once the spices sputter add
3 cups of sliced onion(about 1&1/2 large onion chopped in thin slices)
Fry onion till soft, pink and translucent

Now add the mutton along with the marinade.

1 tbsp Coriander powder
1/2 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp Kashmiri Mirch

Now "bhuno/kashao" the mutton for next 30-35 mins. Water will release from the mutton and you will see oil surfacing.

Make a paste of
1/2 Cup of soft grated coconut
1/4 Cup of Cashew
with a splash of water

Add this coconut-kaju paste to the mutton and cook for another 15 minutes.

Now transfer the mutton to a pressure cooker. I also added potatoes to this dish on this particular day but usually the recipe does not call for potatoes

1/4 Cup of beaten yogurt mixed with 1 Cup of water
salt to taste
2 dry Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
and mix well

Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Once the steam has reached, lower the heat and cook mutton at low heat for about 20 mins. Next, raise the heat and cook for another 5 mins.

Let the pressure cooker release steam naturally. Open the cooker to an awesome arora and serve the Korma with rice or pulao.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you for writing this. Not being a craft kindergartner mom made me feel good because I thought I was the only one like that. Everyone else seems to be so much more creative. I have therefore started volunteering for events where they are having a carnival / party and it is about FOOD.

    I will make this with chicken and let you know.

  3. Enjoyed thoroughly.... i m with u sandeepa... volunteering craft session at school or playing holi :) we r in the same boat :)

  4. In kerala Holi wasnot a big thingie atleast when i was living there but i think now it is a big thing there too. I love mutton, wish we got them here. And with potato pieces i would first fight for those and thenthe meat as i love potatoes i curries like this.

  5. Playing holi with kids sounds so much fun. And hey going to school and doing the dolls sounds like a great way to interact with the little ones in LS class. The dolls look cute. Lastly, the mutton is just delicious!

  6. Super!! Ei na hole dosobhuja??
    Dolls,Holi and mutton Korma....keep it going....

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  8. After reading your post I heaved a big sigh of relief that I am not the only one who trembles the moment the words crafts, knitting etc are uttered. My best friend (a guy) used to knit for my crafts class in school!!!!!And now I am forced to make paper plate fishes, animal costume etc for my lil one's preschool!!!

    The mutton korma looks extremely inviting!!!Feel like digging into it right away!!!!

  9. Nice read! About Babar side of the family :) J is normally a shy child but somehow she loves the Holi bash..may be because after returning to India we get to live in a place which is similar to our childhood and she has got a bunch of kids who keep doing stuff together- spontaneous picnic to holi to annual consort.. I feel relieved to see my shy child getting involved in social activities with little curled up lips but with great enthusiasm :)

  10. Coconut and cashews makes a rich sauce for mutton! Looks nice.


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