Monday, May 6, 2013


As I have said (one time too many) I like short-cuts in cooking…and while I am willing to concede that the age old long-drawn process will bring you better results, let’s get real… on an average working-day or weekend, who has the inclination to slog endlessly in the kitchen over the stove. Well, I know many would say its simpler to eat out… but somehow there are a few dishes that are best home-made. For me, MUTTON is one of them. My mother and grandmother really spoilt it for me…they made such amazing mutton dishes that I rarely like mutton outside the house. Since I discovered the Microwave in the early ‘90’s I became a big fan…and over the last 20 odd years, I have figured out ways to use microwave, along with traditional cooking methods to cut down on time, effort and make it a little more healthy…

I usually prefer to stock my refrigerator and freezer with enough raw material to cook whatever I want as and when the whim takes me. So, when I buy fresh mutton, I make the time to clean it, wash it and cut into a size I like (1” cubes). Then I put it in the pressure cooker, add some ginger garlic paste (approximately 1/3 of what you would need) some turmeric, salt, and a few bay leaves. I let this cook on high heat for about 1 whistle and then lower the heat and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Once this is done, I divide it into portions and put it in freezer- microwave safe containers and freeze them. What this does is, that it cuts the cooking time for the mutton down to half, when you are actually making it.


Mutton (goat) (washed carefully, cleaned and cubed)
½ kg
Ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp
¼ tsp

Bay leaves
For the masala

5 tsp.
Whole cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves
2-3 of each
Onions (peeled and chopped finely)
2 large/3medium
Tomatoes (chopped)
2 medium
Ginger garlic paste
1 ½ tsp
¼ tsp
Chili powder
1 tsp
Coriander powder
1 ½ tsp
Cumin powder
½ tsp
To taste
Garam masala powder
½ tsp
Chopped fresh coriander

1.       Place all the ingredients under “pre-cook” in the pressure cooker and cook on high until 1 whistle, then lower the heat to a simmer and keep for 5 mins.
2.       Add 2 tsps of oil to a microwave safe bowl and add half of whole garam masalas to it, along with chopped onions. Zap on high for 3-5 mins (depending on the efficiency of your microwave). At the end of this, the onions should be translucent.
3.       Add chopped tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste to it, mix and zap on high for another 3 minutes.
4.       Now take it out of the microwave and let it cool a bit.
5.       Run it in the blender so that you have a coarse paste.
6.       Place a wok on high heat and add about 3 tsps of oil to it. Once the oil is warm add the remaining whole garam masalas to it and then add the paste.
7.       Now add the pre-cooked mutton to the wok and mix well.
8.       Keep on high heat stirring intermittently until all the water evaporates and the oil begins to separate. Since we did not put in much oil, don’t expect a lot to come out. So watch for a glaze and oil on the edges.
9.       Normally, the mutton should be cooked completely by this time. If, however, it still feels a bit tough and undercooked, simply transfer to the cooker and cook until 2 whistles on high. This should do it. This is a bit tricky as you have to figure out how much more cooking it requires. Over cooked mutton disintegrates and tastes pretty bad, so try to avoid over cooking.
10.   Add salt and garam masala powder and mix well.
11.   At this point, you can choose whether you want a semi-dry bhuna-gosht kind of consistency or you prefer it with a gravy. For the former, simply cover the wok and cook on low heat for about 5 mins and then garnish with chopped fresh coriander. For the later, simply add water and bring to boil. Let it simmer for 5 mins and then garnish with fresh coriander.

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