Friday, June 27, 2008


[Semi-sweet meat and rice]

Originally posted here:

One and a half cups Basmati rice - washed, soaked an hour, drained.
One and a half pounds goat, chunk cut.
One onion, minced.
Half a cup sugar.
Half a cup water.
One lemon.
Six green cardamom pods.
Two black cardamom pods.
Two smallish pieces stick cinnamon.
Two blades of mace.
Two bay leaves.
One teaspoon whole peppercorns.
Six TBS ghee (or substitute vegetable oil).
Two TBS rosewater.
Two TBS kewra water.
A very generous pinch of saffron.
Pinch salt.

1. Mix saffron, rosewater, and kewra water, and let stand to colour.
2. Make a syrup by dissolving the sugar in the half cup water in an enamel saucepan. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon, and remove from heat.
3. Fry the onion in the ghee till glazy-golden. Add half of the whole spices, stir, add the meat and a small splash water. Fry till the oil comes out and the meat is browned. Cover with water, simmer till nearly dry. Remove the whole spices, and set the meat and onion mixture aside.
4. Bring a pot of water to boil with the remaining whole spices. Boil fiercely for five minutes to aromatize the water, then use your kafcha or kafgir to skim out the whole spices, and add the rice. Parboil till the rice starts to puff, then strain.
5. Mix the rice with the meat and onion in a casserole, add the syrup. Pour the rose-kewra-saffron water spiral-wise over the mixture, cover well, and use tinfoil or dough to really seal the edges and prevent much steam escaping. Set in a 300ยบ oven for half an hour. Remove and up end on a platter.

Note I: Rosewater is available at Middle Eastern stores, Kewra water can be bought at Indian stores. Kewra, kewda, or keora is pandanus - the fragrant screwpine, which has a semi floral grass-like aroma. One can substitute a jigger of pandan extract (available in S.E.Asian markets) for the Indian or Paki product.

Note II: This version of Mutanjan is not nearly as sweet as some Indians would make it.

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