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Niramish Mangsho Bhaja / Vegetarian Mutton Fry {Recipe}

Niramish Mangsho Bhaja / Vegetarian Mutton Fry {Recipe}

On the occasion of MahaNavami here is the recipe that always reminds me of this day since it was cooked by my grandmother and mom when we got boli’r pantha (the sacrificial goat meat). It is always cooked sans onion and garlic and is therefore called Niramish Mangsho Bhaja or Vegetarian Mutton Fry (a concept only us crazy Bongs could have invented!!). I love this dish and don’t normally wait for festivals or Navami to cook it! :)

Ingredients:
1 kg meat, tender meat from the shoulder, chopped into smallish pieces
1 and 1/2 tabsp whole cumin seeds
1 and 1/2 inch fresh ginger
8-10 red chillies dry (I like it hot so I put about 12-15 chillis)
1 bowl of grated coconut
2 large tomatoes chopped
Mustard oil
Turmeric
Salt
Some cardamoms, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, black pepper, cloves roughly powdered.
Some ghee if you are willing to compromise on the calories and cholesterol, just this once!
The jeera and adrak and red chillies give it a spicy twist. If you are not fond of the “jhaanz” (I am not sure what the equivalent of that word would be in English), you could reduce the cumin seed and ginger slightly.

For the marination
First wash and drain mutton and pat dry.
Soak red chillies in water
Make a paste of the cumin seeds, ginger and soaked red chillies
Add this to the mutton
Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder
Add salt
Add all the chopped tomatoes
Add 1 tab spoon of mustard oil
Marinate overnight.

Preparation
Heat mustard oil in a pan.
If you want potatoes in your meat (optional), now is the time to fry them and set them aside. I prefer using the baby potatoes with their skin intact. Then (After the potatoes are done and taken out), add some bay leaves and the roughly powdered dry cardamom, cinnamon et al.
Then add mutton and fry on high for a little while before covering and cooking on slow flame.
When half done, add the potatoes.
When its almost done and the water has almost dried out, add the grated coconut and fry some more. This is a dry dish so you would need to make sure the water dries up.
Just before you remove it from the fire, add a little ghee and sprinkle a little more of the powdered cinnamon- cardamom etc etc powder you had made earlier, on top.
Finally serve with chopped coriander leaves and slit green chillies as garnish.
Eat with hot plain rice.

Note: Please do not make this with chicken. I tried once and it just does not taste the same as the masalas completely overpower the chicken while they complement red meat beautifully.

Moushumi Palit

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