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!
10 ‘Bhavnagri’ Green Chillies / Large Green Chillies, sliced or slit lengthwise
1/2 cup Peanuts
1 tsp Sesame seeds (Til)
1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tsp Coriander seeds (Dhania)
1/2 cup Grated coconut
2 Medium Onions, roughly sliced
3 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2 tsp Tamarind paste
1 cup Yoghurt
5 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
- Roast the sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peanuts. Keep aside to cool.
- Take 1 tbs oil in a pan. Fry the sliced onions until they turn transparent. (Do not let them turn brown). Keep aside to cool.
- Blend the fried onions, grated coconut, roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds to a paste. Add some water (approx 1/4 cup) to make the blending easier.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the chillies for approx 4-5 minutes on a medium flame. Keep the chillies aside.
- In the same pan heat the remaining oil. Fry the blended masala paste with ginger-garlic paste and tamarind paste for approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add the yoghurt to this and mix. Make sure the yoghurt is completely incorporated into the paste.
- Add the fried chillies to this. Mix and add 1 cup of water.
- Boil for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the pan covered for 5 minutes.
- Serve with paratha or rice.
I love the Bhavnagari chillies for their correct amount of ‘hotness’. You can use any other variety of green chillies. You can also de-seed them to make the chillies milder. The real fun though is in the salan. It is tangy, hot and delicious. Replace the chillies with eggplant and you have Baingan ka salan!
I am not sure about the authenticity of this recipe but I know that it is truly delicious. Try it!
1 Medium Cabbage, chopped
3 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tsp Urad Dal
8-10 Curry Leaves
2 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
Salt, to taste
1/2 Grated coconut
- Heat the oil. Add the urad dal to this.
- When urad dal turns brownish add mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds begin to sputter add curry leaves and turmeric powder. Fry for 2-3 mins.
- Add the cabbage. Mix well.
- Add salt and approx 1/2 cup water. Cook without covering until cabbage is fully cooked.
- Add grated coconut. Fry for 1 minute. Serve hot.
So simple. That is what I love about this dish. Quick, attractive, delicious, light and great with hot phoolkas. You can sprinkle lemon juice on this before serving.
Since my mother is unable to tolerate spicy food my recipe does not include red chilli powder and coriander powder. You can add these along with turmeric powder. I still prefer the masale-free version.
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!
1 cup Milk
1 cup Wholewheat flour (Atta)
¼ cup Ghee
¼ tsp Saffron (Kesar)
1 tsp Green Cardamom powder (Chhoti Elaichi powder)
Salt, to taste
- Boil the milk. Reduce to half.
- Sieve the flour with salt. Add ghee, saffron, green cardamom powder and milk. Knead thoroughly to make a soft, elastic dough.
- Divide the dough into 6 portions. Roll each portion out into a disc.
- Heat an iron griddle (tawa). Cook the discs on low heat. Pierce with a knife in the centre. Press with a cloth all round while cooking.
- Remove when both sides of the roti have brown spots.
Great roti that my father-in-law makes very well. You can add a little bit of powdered sugar, cinnamon powder and ajwain to make this roti even more aromatic and flavorful. Great with potatoes sauteed in oil with cumin seeds, sliced onions, whole red chillies, green peas and salt. Maybe a recipe for simple potato subzi will follow soon! Have a brilliant day.
1 large Eggplant, cubed
2 large Capsicums, cubed
2 Potatoes, cubed or thickly sliced
¼ kg Cauliflower florets
3 Green chillies, slit and deseeded
4 Medium onions, finely chopped or blended to a rough paste
4 Large Tomatoes, pureed
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds)
1 tsp Mustard seeds (Rai)
Handful of curry leaves (curry patta)
1 thumb sized fresh ginger piece, peeled and grated
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 cup Coconut Milk
1 cup Water
2 tsp Tamarind paste
3 tsp Olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
Salt, to taste
- Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger. Fry for around 2 minutes.
- Add the onion paste (or chopped onions). Fry until the onions turn light brown.
- Add the chopped vegetables, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Fry for around 3 minutes on high flame.
- Add the tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
- Add the water and coconut milk. Mix well and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
- Mix the tamarind paste in 2 tsp of water. Add this to the simmering vegetables.
- Mix well and cook for around 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Adjust the seasoning.
This is a tangy vegetable curry that was an instant hit with the family. It is easy on the tummy and the palate. Experiment with different vegetables including beans, mushrooms and pumpkin. You can also replace the vegetables with Chicken (add some coriander powder for more bite). Serve with hot phoolkas or with a light rice pulao (pilaf). Surprisingly this recipe is my adaptation of a Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef) recipe! Enjoy!
250g Milk Chocolate/ Semi-bitter Chocolate (Take your pick!), broken into pieces
75g Butter, cut into pieces
1-1/2 cup Fresh Cream
2 Large Eggs
2 tbs Irish Cream (any liqueur you prefer!)
1 tbs Honey
- Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl. Place the bowl over some boiled water that is kept on a gentle simmer.
- Let the chocolate and butter melt. Remove from the heat.
- In another bowl whip the cream until it gets soft and frothy
- Whisk the eggs and honey in a bowl until light.
- Gently fold in the irish cream, melted chocolate mixture and cream. Mix all this very gently.
- Pour the mixture into small wine glasses or serving dishes.
- Leave to chill for a few hours (At least 1-1/2 hour before serving).
- Sprinkle grated chocolate over the mousse before serving.
Chocolate Mousse is so simple to make and so delightfully sinful! Try different varieties of chocolate and liqueur. I also like to add a dash of whisky to make this even more sinful. Delicious.
2-3 Chicken Breasts
2-3 Baby Potatoes
4 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs Ginger Paste
1 tsp Fennel seeds, hand pounded (saunf)
2 cloves Garlic
2 tbs Dried Oregano
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to approx. 220°C.
- Make a bag placing 2 pieces of tin foil (large enough) on top of each other. Fold three sides and keep one side open.
- Flatten the chicken breasts with a mallet.
- Pierce the baby potatoes with a fork.
- Squeeze the lemon juice and reserve the lemon. Put these in a bowl.
- Add olive oil, crushed dried oregano, ginger paste, pounded fennel seeds, garlic, and black pepper to this.
- Put the chicken breasts and potatoes. Mix.
- Keep this mixture aside for around 45 minutes. (Longer the better!)
- Place this mixture in your foil bag. Seal the bag and place carefully on a roasting tray.
- Heat in the pre-heated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Break open the foil on the table.
Enjoy this simple recipe with pao, garlic bread or lemon rice. Experiment with different herbs like thyme, rosemary and vegetables like spinach, beans, mushrooms. You can also add fresh cream or white wine to the marinade to get delightful variations. Serve with a glass of good white wine.