I had my first rezala at the famous Sabir restaurant in Chandni Chowk, Kolkata. The looks of the place half kills your appetite, but the aroma revives it right back. The walk up the narrow stairs to the so called family section is filled with anticipation of the sumptuous rezala and tandoori roti.
The other day I made rezala the same Sabir style, my husband qualifies this as the best food I have every cooked for him. However, the petuk says that almost once every week . Here goes the recipe, try it out and let me know in the comments if this is worthy of the praise heaped on it.
- Mutton 1lb, preferably ribs (I used goat meat, lamb can also be used)
- Onion - 1 medium ground into a fine paste
- Garlic paste - 1tbsp
- Ginger paste - 2tbsp
- Plain yogurt - Half cup
- Cashew paste - 2tbsp
- Ghee / Clarified butter - half cup
- Dry whole red chili - 8, 10
- Peppercorn - 1tsp
- Bay leaf
- Saffron - 1/4th tsp.
- Milk - 2,3 tbsp
- Kewra essence few drops
- Grind the following dry spices into a powder
- Black cardamom - 2
- Green cardamom - 2,3
- Cloves - 5,6
- Mace (Javitri) - 1, 2 leaves
Soak the saffron strands in warm milk and keep aside.
Take a bowl and blend onion paste, ginger garlic paste, cashew paste with yogurt. In a mixing bowl marinate the mutton pieces with yogurt mixture along with salt, sugar and two tsp. of dry spice powder. Let it rest overnight.
In a heavy bottom pan or pressure cooker heat ghee on a low heat. Temper it with bay leaf. Take out the mutton pieces from the marinade and after shaking off all the excess liquids add the meat pieces to the pan.
Sauté it for about 4-5 mins on medium heat. Now add the marinade slowly and mix well.
Add whole red chilies and peppercorn. Cook it covered on low heat for about 30-40 mins till the meat is tender. During cooking add water if required and stir in between to prevent the meat sticking at the bottom***.
Once the mutton is just done add the saffron infused milk along with a few drops of kewra water. Cook for another two mins to imbibe the flavor of saffron and kewra into the meat+++. Let it stand for an hour. Serve with naan or paratha.
***I like to cook the mutton first in a pressure cooker for about 2-3 whistles on medium high heat and once the pressure releases, cook it covered till the rest is done. It helps me to prevent overcooking the meat.
+++To give the gravy a silky appearance take out the mutton pieces separately and strain the gravy through a muslin cloth or a strainer.