This is my version of the popular sauce (ragu alla Bolognese) that originated from Bolgna, Italy. Traditionally this is made with beef mince but my version uses lamb mince. The recipe is a variation of many recipes that I have tried earlier and it incorporates the best of both worlds – knowledge derived from expert chefs and my own unique ‘genius’!
Without further ado I present my version of a dish that is easy, delicious and a great prelude to a romantic night.
500gms Lamb mince
2 Medium Onions, finely chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Glass of Red Wine (any decent, cheap red will do)
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
½ tsp Dried Rosemary
¼ tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Oregano
3-4 Fresh Basil leaves (optional)
8-10 Medium Tomatoes
2 Green tomatoes, chopped (optional)
Salt to taste Parmesan / Cheddar Cheese
Half a packet of spaghetti
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Boil water (approx 500 ml) and throw in the tomatoes. Let them boil until the skins begin to peel off. Remove the tomatoes from the water. De-skin the tomatoes and blend into a thick puree.
- Heat oil in a pan. Throw in the dried rosemary and thyme. Fry for around 1 minute or until slightly brown (do not burn)
- Add the chopped onions and garlic. Fry until they turn soft.
- Add the mince. Fry for another 4-5 minutes until it just changes color.
- Add the wine and balsamic vinegar. Cook on high flame until the gravy is reduced to nearly half.
- Add the tomato puree and chopped green tomatoes. Season with salt. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and let the sauce simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the mince is cooked. This is your bolognese sauce – simmering gently waiting to be done and gently put over steaming spaghetti!
- Boil some more water in another pan. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and some salt to this. Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water as per the instructions on the pack.
- When the spaghetti is done, drain and keep aside. (Ensure that you do not make the spaghetti too early as it will dry up really fast)
- Tear the basil leaves and mix them into the bolgnese sauce.
- Make a bed of spaghetti on the serving plate. Put a generous amount of the bolgnese sauce on this.
- Generously sprinkle grated parmesan or cheddar cheese. Enjoy the meal!
I was so delighted with my recipe that I had my son make it the following night. It was successful. I polished off two glasses of good Indian wine in celebration of this wonderful dish. Dim the lights, serve this to your beloved in a nice white plate, with a glass of wine, soft candle-light and even softer music. A fresh salad on the side will be great but not essential.
My father-in-laws secret recipe revealed!
This is a recipe that my father-in-law Yusuf Husain has perfected. It is his secret recipe – one which he rarely shares with others! Even if he does share it you can be sure that he will leave out some important detail. I have ‘cracked’ the recipe after many unsuccessful attempts and after much cajoling. It was cooked last night and everybody loved it. Yusuf saab approved of the preparation and finally welcomed me to the family secret!
1 kg Mutton / Lamb, big pieces
10-12 Medium Onions, thick slices
12 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp Ginger, chopped
2 Bay Leaves (tej patta)
5 Black Cardamoms (badi elaichi)
2 Cinnamon Sticks (dalchini)
15 Whole Black Pepper Corns (kali mirch)
12 Whole Dried Red Chillies
Salt, to taste
75 gms Yoghurt, beaten
4-5 tbsp Ghee or Oil
- Heat ghee/oil in a saucepan. Take approximately half the quantity of onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Add mutton, bay leaves, black cardamoms, cinnamon sticks, pepper corns, red chillies and 1.5 tsp salt.
Sauté on high flame until the meat changes color.
- Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining onions. Mix well and sauté for about 1 minute.
- Seal the vessel. Cook for approximately 45-50 minutes on low flame. In case you are using a pressure cooker, wait for 3 whistles and then let the meat rest while pressure is totally released from the cooker.
- Open the lid and you will see that onions are totally liquefied and the meat has been simmering in the liquefied onions.
- On medium heat sauté the meat until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce heat and add yoghurt. Mix well. Cover the vessel once again (not under pressure) and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the meat is totally done.
- Let the meat rest for at least 15-20 minute before serving.
This is perhaps one of the most delicate, delicious and wholesome meat recipes I have come across. The cooking of meat in the onion gravy is the key to a successful result.
You can also follow the same recipe for Kate Masale Ka Chicken. With chicken you have to be careful that you do not overcook and that onions, ginger and garlic are chopped into smaller pieces to allow the onion gravy to form faster.
The red chillies and browning of the onions lend this dish its distinct reddish color. Excessive browning will make the dish very dark and some people prefer it that way. You can add approximately 1 tbsp roasted and roughly pounded coriander seeds after adding the yoghurt. This adds a little extra bite but many people do not enjoy the distinct coriander flavor. Try it or give it a miss, but this is one recipe that you must try!
Enjoy this with rotis, naan or steamed rice. I prefer devouring this recipe without any of these!
1 kg Mutton, cut into large pieces
1 tbsp Garlic, ground
2-3 large Onions ground into paste
5 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
8 Green cardamoms (Chhoti Elaichi)
8 Cloves (Laung)
5 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, mixed with 1 cup water
¾ cup Ghee
2.5 litres Water
a few strands of saffron, mixed in warm water
½ tsp Black Pepper powder (Kali Mirchi Powder)
- Fry the onion paste in 3 tbsp Ghee/Oil until golden brown. Keep aside
- Boil the mutton in water. Keep removing all the scum with a ladle.
- Once the water is clean, add salt and ground garlic. Boil until mutton is half cooked.
- Remove the mutton pieces from the water and wash in running cold water. Keep aside.
- Strain the water through a fine sieve and pour into a fresh pan.
- Bring this water to a boil and add meat to it.
- Heat the ghee in another pan. Add cloves (laung) to the hot ghee.
- When the cloves begin to crackle, sprinkle around 1 tbsp water and immediately cover the pan. (This has to be done very carefully and quickly) . Keep the pan covered.
- Now add green cardamoms, clove flavored ghee, turmeric powder and fried onion paste (prepared in step 1) to the mutton.
- Mix and bring to a boil. Boil for approx 10-12 mins on high flame.
- Now add the kashmiri red chilli mixed in water to this. Mix well. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and cook on simmer until the mutton is totally cooked.
- Add the saffron and black pepper powder. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 10 mins.
- Keep the pan covered and let the mutton rest for approximately 20-30 minutes before serving.
The totally authentic Kashmiri preparation includes the very Kashmiri ingredient mawal (dried cockscomb flower) heated with around 1 cup water. I was unable to find this in the market and hence omitted this. The recipe was a huge success last night. We had our friends Mukul and Shalini over from Delhi. Lots of the excellent Sula Dindori Shiraz and then sumptuous Rogan Josh with simple steamed rice. Wonderful meal that was completed by some amazing gazak that my father-in-law had ‘procured’ from Lucknow. Mazaa aa gaya – kasam se!
For the Bhuna Gosht
1 kg Mutton/Lamb (with bone)
4 Medium Onion, peeled, finely chopped
4 tsp Garlic paste
3 tsp Red Chilli powder
3 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Cumin powder
½ tsp Turrmeric powder (haldi)
5 Medium Tomatoes, pureed or finely chopped
4 tsp Ginger paste
1-½ cups Water
¼ cup Oil / Ghee
For the Chana Dal Gosht
1 cup Chana Dal (split chick peas)
2 tsp Red Chilli powder
2 tsp Garam Masala powder
4-5 tbs Fresh Cream
1 Onion, sliced, fried until brown and kept aside
2 Green chillies, lightly fried
A handful of mint leaves
- Put mutton, onions, garlic, salt, chili powder, ground coriander, turmeric and water in a heavy based saucepan or pressure cooker. Cook for 20 minutes on high flame, stirring continuously (bhunaoing) or until all the water including the water from the chopped onions has dried up.
- Add tomatoes and ginger paste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
- Add oil and cook for 10 minutes, again stirring all the time. Add one or two tablespoons of water to prevent gravy from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Shut the flame when oil separates from the gravy.
- Add the chana dal and red chilli powder to the bhuna gosht prepared above.
- Add water to this. Make sure that the water covers around 1 inch above the level of the dal and meat.
- Simmer under pressure for 3 whistles. Alternatively cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the dal and meat are fully cooked.
- Open the lid. Sprinkle garam masala powder, adjust the salt and mix thoroughly. Cook on medium flame for around 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn off the flame.
- Add fresh cream and mix into the Dal Gosht. Cover and let it rest for around 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon juice, fresh mint and brown onions.
This is a wonderful recipe that I have got from the great singer/composer and my brother from Pakistan, Shafqat Ali. The dish is attractive, delicious and a massive hit with everybody. The trick is to ensure that Bhuna Gosht is made correctly with a lot of stirring to ensure that gravy does not get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
You can make a lot of variations to this dish. Change the dal – try red lentils, kidney beans or soaked Bengal gram or a mixture of all the dals. Instead of dal you can also add vegetables like okra, cauliflower, potatoes, yam or turnips to the Bhuna Gosht to get delightful dishes! Cooking times of course will vary. You can also replace the tomatoes with yoghurt. Keep trying and serving. That is what passion is all about. Happy cooking!
1 kg Mutton, medium sized pieces
3 large Potatoes, cut into large pieces
1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
2 tbs Ginger-Garlic paste
5 large Tomatoes, chopped
3 large Onions, chopped
½ Coconut, grated
10 pcs Cloves (Laung)
8-10 pcs Whole Red chillies
2 tsp Poppy seeds
2 tsp Fennel seeds (saunf)
2 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Peppercorns
½ cup Oil
Salt, to taste
- Thoroughly mix salt, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste into the meat. Keep aside for at least 45 mins.
- Heat 3-4 tbs of oil in a pan. Add the poppy seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and red chillies. Fry until the poppy seeds just begin to turn brown.
- Add the chopped onions. Fry until light brown.
- Add the grated coconut and fry for about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and fry (bhunno continuously) until the oil begins to separate from the masala.
- Cool the masala. Blend to a fine paste. Kolhapuri Masala is now ready.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pressure cooker. Add the marinated mutton pieces and potatoes. Fry until they turn brownish.
- Add the Kolhapuri Masala prepared above. Mix well. Add approximately 2-3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover.
- Cook the mutton under pressure on low heat for around 4-5 whistles (depending on the tenderness of the meat).
- Wait for all the pressure to be released, then open the lid.
- Add chopped fresh coriander and mix.
While I enjoy subtle flavors and aromatic cuisines, this Mutton Kolhapuri was a welcome change. There is nothing subtle or gentle about it but it is simply delicious. You can use the Kolhapuri masala for chicken, vegetables or paneer but I think the robust flavors come out best with red meat. Eat this with the traditional Maharashtrian bread bhakri or the sinful, deep fried wada. As usual I prefer it with my staid, slightly crisp phoolka.
Cooked this mutton kolhapuri for my wife last night. I was showered with a lot of rekindled love, affection and a much needed foot massage. Maybe it was the poppy seeds! Or the excellent new wine from the Dindori region of Nashik. This region produces some excellent grapes and the wines from here are excellent. Sula Dindori Reserve and Chateau d’Ori are two brands that use grapes from this region. While the Sula Reserve is truly the pick of Indian wines, this new one is also quite good. Cheers!
- Nahari Gosht – Never fails.
750gms Leg of Spring Lamb
450gms Lamb chops
1-1/2 cups Onions
5 Green Cardamoms (Chhoti Elaichi)
5 Cloves (Laung)
2 Cinnamon sticks (Dalchini)
2 Bay Leaves (Tej patta)
2 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhania powder)
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi powder)
4 tbs Ginger Paste
3 tbs Garlic Paste
2-3 tsp Flour (Atta)
2-3 tsp Gramflour
2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tsp Mace and Green Cardamom (Jaivitri and Chhoti Elaichi) powder
3-4 drops Vetivier (Kevda)
1. Slice half the onions.
2. Chop the remaining half of the onions
3. Whisk the yoghurt in a bowl
4. Clean lamb pieces
5. Heat 100gms Ghee in a handi, add the sliced onions.
6. Saute the onions until golden brown
7. Add lamb, chopped onions, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. The onions will begin to liquify. Saute on high heat until all the liquid has evaporated.
8. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir.
9. Immediately add ginger paste and garlic paste. Saute on high heat until fat leaves the masala.
10. Add yoghurt, bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat.
11. Saute for approximately 10-12 minutes. The yoghurt will reduce considerably.
12. Add 3 cups (approx 750 ml) water and bring to a boil.
13. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally. Wait until the lamb is tender. If cooking in a pressure cooker, bring water to boil and cook under pressure for not more than 2 whistles.
14. Remove the pieces of meat from the gravy and keep aside.
15. Take the remaining ghee in a separate handi. Add the flour and gramflour. Saute briskly over low heat, stirring constantly, until light brown.
16. Add the separated gravy to these flours. Mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps.
17. Pass the thick gravy through a strainer into its original handi (clean the handi to ensure a smooth gravy)
18. Add the lamb pieces to the thick gravy. Bring to a boil.
19. Add the garam masala powder, mace and cardamom powder. Stir. Adjust the salt.
20. Add vetvier (kevda), cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
21. Remove to a bowl and serve hot.
I prefer eating this with a nice, fluffy and slightly crisp phoolka. Keeps the meal light and the emphasis remains on the excellent meat!