Written by Meena Agarwal on March 15th, 2006 |
Aah! The wonderful aromas from Mom’s kitchen. Ohh how miss and crave for those days! I remember tons of times when a call for dinner was taken for granted by the wonderful smells cropping out of Mom ‘lil kitchen, bringing with it huge pangs of hunger.
When Barbara announced the theme of her new event, ‘The Spice is Right’, as Ancient Spices, I was lost. Truly, I had no idea what I would feature as an ancient spice. I had no clue to begin with! But then, hard as I thought about it, I decided to take ancient to mean digging deep into my memory box and pulling out some the earliest of times of what I can recall. Now that made things SO much more easier!
It’s so simple you see, ‘coz the most ancient thing I can remember of food is the wonderful aromas! And what could be more aromatic than saffron. And with saffron, I totally mean Mom’s delicious mouth-watering-finger-lickin’ Biryani! Yes, it was Biryani and the aromatic smell of saffron that I remember most distinctly.
When I thought of using saffron in a recipe, I was overwhelmed. It was simple to highlight the taste of saffron in any recipe. One really simple dish would be Saffron Pulao. But I wasn’t in the mood for simple. I wanted exotic. A quick peek into my freezer gave me the inspiration. And this is how the story goes…
Kesari Gosht (Mutton/Lamb in a Saffron-flavoured Sauce)
1 kg boneless mutton/lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes 7-8 red baby potatoes, cut in halves 2 cups onions, finely chopped 1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp saffron, mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
- salt, to taste
- water, as required
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish
- Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and saute cumin seeds till it begins to sizzle.
- Add in onions and fry till lightly browned.
- Add salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric and tomatoes, and cook till tomatoes pulp and form a thick consistency.
- Mix in lamb pieces to coat with spices. Add about a cup or two of water and put on the lid. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 25-30 minutes till lamb is done.
- Add in potatoes and saffron water and cover cook for another 10-15 minutes to cook potatoes through. Feel free to add in as much extra water as needed.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm with hot Rotis or Naan.