Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Baba’s Baghdadi Mutton

Red onion is great. If you minus the lingering onion-breath and the tears it makes you shed when peeling and cutting. Growing up in Patna, every year the price of red onion would sky rocket during winters.

003We are an onion-loving family! We love onions in everything. Raw, cooked, crisp-fried, or dunked in hearty stews. Onion inflation was a sore point in my Mum’s kitchen, like any middleclass housewife on budget cooking. Its another story though that that budget included gourmet meals pretty much every day.

One day in the middle of the onion price-rise, my Mum would announce – No onions from now in salads or jhalmuri. Its 80 rupees a kilo.


In spite of her I-am-the-Tiger-Mom approach towards onions, we would still find slices of them in our salad or a good amount of it in her Mutton Do Pyaza. I still wonder why she even bothered with that onion embargo, with that feeble willpower when it came to serving onions to her family.


I don’t have my Mother’s Mutton Do Pyaza recipe today.
But what I do have is a simple, full of character goat meat dish. My Father-in-law’s actually. Its not one of those flashy recipes, where you can’t lay your hands on half the ingredients mentioned. It is basic, hearty and once you can crack it, you will be the most clever cook in town. And I am talking to kitchen virgins here who think cooking mutton is the most difficult thing.

077To make good mutton, that fall-off-the-bones kind is the best thing I have learned in (slow) cooking. So here it is, Baba’s Baghdadi Mutton. Any relation with Iraq and this dish is highly doubtful. Just enjoy the name and the recipe.

Ingredients for  Baba’s Baghdadi Mutton are:

500 grams goat meat, bone in, cut into two inch pieces (no lean meat please, get meat with good marbling. I usually get the shoulder portion of a baby goat)
1 very large red onion, slivered thinly
300 grams plain yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 heaped tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
7-8 whole dry red chillies (I usually add about 20 since my husband and I have a high heat quotient, so adjust the heat accordingly, play safe if kids are eating)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable or canola oil

031033034For starters, get a large bowl, and marinate together the mutton, sliced red onions, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, black pepper and the dry red chillies. Keep refrigerated overnight or on the counter for at least 5-6 hours.

005Warm (not heat) oil in a thick pan, use the pressure (cooker) pan if you want to. Add the marinated mutton and coat well with the oil. Cover and cook, mixing and moving the mutton and spices for the next 40-50 minutes on low-medium heat.

You will see the mutton release its natural fat and juices as it comes close to being completely cooked. Add salt and a little water if needed. Move it around well. Do a taste test and remove from heat.

001073003Serve the Baghdadi Mutton with a big garden salad (don’t forget the onions!) and phulkas/chapatis/ruti.

078This is probably the quickest and easiest mutton dishes I have made. But no less tasty for that. Very few ingredients, simple flavours and takes you to a different direction of cooking mutton – with so little oil! Go try.



tojo said...

brilliantly simple.i will try this over the weekend.

Sayantani said...

20 pieces of red chillies??? nak kan die dhoa berie jabe amar. akhon to chele khay bole gota kancha lanka die ranna kori. darun recipe ar bhishon sundor presentation.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Thats a great recipe , Pree, thank you very much. I like it..no riot of usual garam masala, jeera, tomato etc etc .
WIsh I have enough time to cook it.
Have a nice day

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

mutton with loads of red onions, must be super good...
love the look of it, would love to have some...

sulagna ™ said...

looks so easy Pree :) must try !

GB said...

Ohhhhhhhhh. I Want. Though I might skip the 20 red chillies. :)

Piper .. said...

wow!! the simplest mutton recipe ever! The pictures look awesome! I will try this out asap :)
Also, I was wondering if it would at all be possible for you to provide your mother’s Mutton Do Pyaza recipe :):)

I have been a regular visitor to your blog and try out your recipes often. There has never been a time when I've not been immensely pleased with myself :)And so, I owe you a lot - you've transformed me into a 'good' cook with your recipes :):)

Pinku said...


this is soooooo my kind of food.

love the recipe and the presentation as well.

though I really do wonder how you manage all this with a small baby in a foreign land.

Suchi said...

Hi Pree, I have been following you on facebook for sometime. Finally decided to hop into your blog. You have a nice space here. The mutton looks yummy :-)I like the name Baghdadi, has a touch of far away and exotic :-)

Shalini Chandak said...

Hi Pree, I've been coming to your blog since long but I think commenting for first or second time only. I like your photographs so much. Though I am not able to use your recipes much as we are veg but I do add your kind of masalas in sometimes.
Your blog is lovely and really, really love your aesthetic sense.

Deeba PAB said...

Hi Pree...found you via another blog. Love the sound of this stew, onions and all! Must try this soon.

Devasmita Basak said...

Hey Pree this bhagdadi delicacy will be on my next weekend's menu :)