Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mutton Rezala

I don’t know what is it in the day time, but I rather find myself writing and finalising the blog posts in the middle of the night preferably after 2:00 A.M and complete everything with soaring red eyes. But today it’s a different story. Tomorrow...or should I say today is Ivory Coast’s election. And we are pretty much scared with the aftermath of it. Because the last time the country had an election, it ended up in a 6 month long internal war leading to much hazards. My husband had to flee the country at the last moment and so did most of the other expats. Those who couldn’t were rescued by the French Army and U.N. Hoping that we don’t have to face them this time.

Awadhi Mutton rezala recipe

bengali mutton rezala recipe
Today streets were more or less calmer than the usual and the nearby restaurants put the shutter on just after 10:00P.M....not normal, because they are kind of a midnight thing. The supermarkets were overflowing with crowds since lots of people are storing foods in case any emergency situations arise. The schools and offices are closed till Monday while the government has given advice to remain closed all the week. A situation I am experiencing for the first time and yes I am quite tensed.

how to cook mutton rezala recipe
Marinate the mutton.

how to cook bengali mutton rezala with step by step pictures
Heat ghee and add the whole spices.

how to cook bengali white mutton curry recipe
Add only the mutton pieces and cook till they change colour.

The ruling party’s head office is just opposite of our apartment and it’s quite made up from the evening with temporary banquet halls in its back yard. I guess they are quite sure that are going to win. Who knows what will happen!! Seriously!!

awadh style mutton rezala recipe
Add water and cook till done.

how to cook classic mutton rezala recipe
Add the rest of the marinating paste.

mutton rezala bengali style recipe
Simmer till the gravy reaches your desired consistency.

bengali mutton rezala recipe
Add in the infused milk.

And since it’s again past 2’0 clock, I thought to finally publish my post.  I really need to sleep now. Today’s recipe is mutton rezala. Its a very festive dish with lots of subtle spices and oil in it. I cooked it last week because I had lots of mutton from the Bakri Eid and I really had to use them up and they kind of stayed forever since then.

how to cook mutton rezala with step by step pictures

restaurant style mutton rezala recipe

Mutton Rezala is a very light yet creamy and fragrant white mutton stew like dish where the gravy is not so thick and also not soo thin. Its somewhere in between and although it is very rich, because of the use if milk and ghee along with mutton, the taste is very mild compared to the list of the ingredients and their infusion. Rezala belongs to the Awadhi cuisine and is linked with the Nawab of Awadh who came to Bengal with all his cooks after he was exiled from Awadh by the British. Rezala is prepared with a nicely marinated mutton so that it is easily cooked and has chopped onions and thick yogurt to make its gravy. The gravy is smooth and velvety in texture.The addition of saffron, kewra / screwpine water and mitha atar is what makes a rezala, Rezala. Nawabi, light and highly aromatic. Make sure you serve it right away, as it tastes best when it’s damn fresh.

bengali mutton rezala recipe

mutton rezala classic bengali mutton recipe

Mutton Rezala
Serves 4

700gm mutton
1 medium onion – paste
1 ad ½ cup of thick yogurt – whisked
6 cloves of garlic – paste
1 inch stick of ginger – paste
1 medium cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 green cardamoms
6-8 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 dry red chillies
3-4 whole green chillies
½ cup warm milk
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp kewra / screw pine water
½ tsp mitha atar / ittar
8-10 strands of saffron
 2 tsp sugar
4 tbsp ghee

 For the masala / powder spice:
1 small cinnamon stick
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
4 whole black peppercorns
4 whole white peppercorns
1 mace
¼ th of a nutmeg

In a bowl take the yogurt, rose water, half of the screwpine / kewra water, half of the mitha atar and whisk to make a smooth paste of it. Make sure no lumps remain there. Then mix in the onion paste, ginger – garlic paste, salt and 1 tbsp ghee.
In a skillet take all the spices required to make the masala / spice powder and dry roast for 1-2 minutes, or until you start to get its fine aroma. Put off the flame and ground the roasted whole spices to a fine powder.
Add 1 tbsp of the spice powder to the yogurt mixture as well. Keep the rest  aside to add to the curry later.
Clean the mutton pieces with water. I always boil them for 5-6 minutes in water to get rid of all the scum. Add this mutton pieces to the yogurt mixture as well. Make sure all the pieces are well coated with the marinade. Now marinate the mutton overnight.
Once the marinade is over, heat the ghee in a pressure cooker and add in the cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, dry red chillies and black peppercorns.
Sauté for half a minute or until the ghee is aromatic.
Now take the mutton pieces one by one, shaking off the excess marinating paste and put them into the cooker.
Sauté them till they change their colour and add in 2 cups of water. Let them come to a boil and put the lid. Cook on pressure till the cooker blows 4 whistles. Since the mutton is marinated overnight, it will not take long to cook. But if you haven’t marinated enough your meat might take a little longer to cook.
Once done, let the pressure be released on its own and then uncover the lid.
In the meantime take the warm milk and dissolve all the saffron in it. Also add in rest of the kewra water, mitha attar and a little sugar.
Add in the excess marinate and sugar to the mutton and cook on medium flame till you get your consistency right.
Rezala is not a dry dish. It has more of rather liquid gravy with lots of oil floating on top of it. So if needed add water during this simmering process.
 When the gravy is right pour in the milk and another 2 tsp of the spice powder (add more if you think the smell is missing, but do not add too much.)
Once you add the milk, add in the whole green chillies and stir them in. Simmer for another 2 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning and then put off the flame.
Serve hot with rumali roti / naan / paratha.

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