The Swiss don't get unhealthy eating cheese, the French eating all that butter, Pakistanis relishing their biryanis and neither do the Belgians get sick eating their scrumptious pom-frites...going back to basics and eating what your ancestors ate is the first step towards a nourishing life. It makes total sense because your DNA is more likely to treat the traditional foods as "food" rather than a new foreign vegetable or anything processed to mimic real food.
With that said, here I am sharing my version of a beautiful, delicious and super healthy nut based mutton curry from Rajasthan - Safed Maas.
Mutton : 750 gm (I use raan, curry cut is fine too)
Yoghurt : 1 cup
Almonds : 8-10
Cashews : 8-10
Pistachios : 8-10
Raisins : 15-20
Walnuts : 5-6
MuskMelon seeds : 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds : 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste : 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves : 5-6
Green chillies : 2-3 (small hot ones)
White pepper : 1 tsp (as per taste)
Dry whole red chillies " 8-10
Green Cardamom : 5-6 pieces
Black Cardamom : 1 piece
Cinnamon : 1 small stick
Star anise : 2 pieces
Bay leaf : 1 leaf
Garam masala powder : 1 tsp
Ghee : 1 tbsp
Kasoori methi (dry) : 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Sharad Purnima is celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvest festival and the end of the monsoon season in India. In Rajasthan, we eat all white foods on the night of 'sharad purnima' and mutton cooked in white gravy, also locally called 'safed maas', is the most popular dish cooked on this auspicious occasion.
For the marinade
In a big bowl add the mutton, yoghurt, white pepper and the ginger garlic paste, let it marinate for 5-6 hours at least, ideally overnight, in the refrigerator.
For the nut & seed paste
Soak all the nuts and seeds in warm water for 6-8 hours
Drain away the soaking water in a fine sieve and wash them with cool drinking water
Peel the almonds
Add all the soaked and peeled nuts and seeds to a blender with green chillies, garlic cloves and half a cup of water
Blend it to a smooth paste
Bringing the dish together
In a handi (a deep slightly tapered wide mouthed vessel) add 1 tbsp ghee.
When a little warm put in the whole dry red chillies, cardamoms, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaf.
Now add in the marinated mutton along with all the marinade, cook it for 15-20 min without the lid and stir occasionally.
Add in 500 ml of water, cover and cook for 60 minutes or until mutton is soft and tender.
Now add the nut & seed paste, garam masala powder, stir and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
Crush the dried kasoori methi on top, stir, taste and adjust for salt and white pepper.
Best enjoyed with kesar rice or plain parathas for dinner.