It is one of the local Himachali recipes, traditionally cooked with mutton but can be tried with equal success with chicken as well. If you are a vegetarian, give this recipe a shot with Paneer alone.
The rich flavors of the recipe are enhanced with use of spices ground freshly in a mortar and pestle as against a mixer-grinder.
Meat Curry with Paneer:
Difficulty Level: Moderate
- Mutton/Chicken (boneless) – 500 gm
- Paneer – 150 gm
- Red Chilli Powder 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1.5 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Ginger – one inch piece
- Green Chillies – 4 to 5
- Garlic – 10 cloves
- Onion – 1 medium-sized finely chopped
- Cloves – 10
- Large Cardamom – 1 (smashed)
- Cinnamon – 1 stick
- Black Peppercorns – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
- Coriander Seeds – 2 tsp
- Refined Vegetable Oil – 3.5 tbsp
To Marinate the Meat (Mutton or Chicken):
- Put the meat in a bowl with some oil, red chili powder, turmeric powder and some salt.
- Give the meat pieces a good rub in spices till all the pieces are well covered with the spice mixture.
- Cover the meat bowl and set aside till needed.
To prepare the spice paste:
- In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast all the spices including ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and large cardamom.
- Add the onion and green chilies and dry roast them too.
- Add all these spices in a mortar and pound them with a pestle till it turns into a nice paste (you can use the mixer as well).
To prepare the dish:
- In a thick bottomed pot heat some oil.
- Add the spice paste to the oil with some water and fry it well for five minutes with constant stirring.
- To this fried paste add some more red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt (remember to adjust salt because you already have added a little while marinating the meat).
- Cook until the oil separates from the masala.
- Add the marinated meat to the spice paste and mix well till all the meat pieces are covered with the spices.
- Add around half a litre of water, cover the pot and let it simmer on low flame till the meat is soft.
- While the meat is simmering, in a separate non-stick pan take around two teaspoons of oil and fry chunks of paneer (no need to deep fry the paneer) and sprinkle some red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt.
- Add this paneer to the simmering meat.
Serving Suggestion: Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
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