Many of you are not aware that I love travelling a lot! And don’t know why travelling through railway always attracts me. May be it’s because of you can seat comfortably and enjoy your journey with your family and friends with good food in a very relaxed way! Like every other Indian (especially Bengali) carry their first meal from home. And it is mostly ‘Luchi-Sada Aloor Torkari’ or ‘Ruti-Chicken Kasha’ for dinner. But for the next day we have no choice but to order the food from the Indian Railway canteen.
In my childhood the foods are used to be served in rectangular steel plates with compartments. We normally order ‘Egg Thali’ or ‘Chicken Thali’. And every compartment used to be filled with rice, a yellow pale watery ‘dal’, a vegetable mostly ‘bottle gourd curry’ and ‘Egg Curry’ or ‘Chicken Curry’. This meal has a typical taste that you’ll not found anywhere. And year after year the meal tastes the same.
The railway meal always have an British colonial influence as the railway canteen was vigorously been served by the British Raj. The menu is not elaborate but the food reflects the colonial recipes like ‘Fish n Chips’, ‘Egg Devil’, ‘Railway Chicken/Mutton Curry’, ‘Sunny Side Up’, Caramel Custard and so on. The recipes were simple but mouth watering. And most of them are used to be cooked by locally available ingredients. This ‘Railway Mutton Curry’ has two recipes one is been cooked with curry leaves and coconut paste keeping all other ingredients almost same and the other one is without coconut paste and curry leaves. Today I’ll be sharing the recipe without curry leaves and coconut paste. The flavor of freshly ground spices makes the curry beautifully flavoured. Here I have used some green chillis at the end because I love the flavor of green chilli. You can avoid using it. Also adjust usage of red chilli and black cardamom according to your heat tolerance level.
Ingredients to serve 5:
- Mutton – 1 kg (With bone preferably shoulder or back leg)
- Ginger Paste – 2 tsp
- Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
- Yogurt – 3 Tbsp
- Lemon Juice or Vinegar – 2 tsp
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Mustard Oil – 2 Tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
For making the Masala:
- Fennel Seeds – ¾ tsp
- Coriander Seeds – 1 ½ tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Peppercorn – 12-15 nos
- Dry Red Chilli – 3-4 (Or according to your heat tolerance)
For making the Gravy & Curry:
- Onion – 3 (Large – Thinly Sliced)
- Tomatoes – 1 cup pureed
- Potatoes – 4-5 (Small or 2 large cut into quarters)
- Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
- Black Cardamom – 2
- Green Cardamom – 5-6
- Cinnamon Stick – 2”
- Clove – 4-5
- Bay Leaves – 2-3
- Javetri or Mace – Few Strands
- Jaiphal or Nutmeg – A small piece
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Green Chilli – 3-4
- Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
- Mustard Oil – ½ cup
- Ghee – 1 Tbsp
- Salt – To taste
- Wash and pat dry the mutton pieces. Now marinate it with the ingredients mentioned under for marination. Marinate overnight or atleast for 3-4 hours.
- Take a wok and dry roast the ingredients. Let it cool completely. Now dry grind the masala and keep aside.
- In the same wok heat mustard oil and lightly fry the potatoes. Keep aside.
- Add ghee and temper the oil+ghee with the whole masala.
- Next add sliced onions and fry till translucent.
- Add ginger paste, garlic paste and mutton pieces. Start sautéing with onion till mutton changes its colour.
- Next add tomato puree and turmeric powder. And keep on sautéing on medium flame. You will notice mutton will start releasing water but that’s ok. Cook till onion turns brown.
- Now add freshly ground dry masala powder, salt and garam masala powder. And mix once again. Keep cooking till oil separates and appear on top of mutton.
- Transfer the whole thing into a pressure cooker and add warm water to cover mutton pieces. Add fried potatoes too.
- Cover the cooker and cook till 2 whistle on high flame and then for 15-20 minutes on low flame.
- Let the pressure release of its own. Add green chilli (optional).
- Serve with steamed rice only!