After a long time, I am posting a Mutton recipe, a very easy yet, tasty one, the Mutton Handi Kebab, an heirloom recipe I have adapted from a small-town Kebab shop in West Bengal. I learned the Mutton Handi Kebab from Sabina, my daughter’s ex-nanny. This is one of the simplest forms of the kebab but full with the flavor of its own and not suppressed by the spices. Sabina was amazing with her skills of making various types of Kebab and why not! After all her father runs a small kebab shop in Dubrajpur, a suburb in West Bengal and my in law’s place as well. I have tried almost all the kebabs they make at their tiny little Kebab shop.
In fact, for me, the beauty of the Kebabs from the small town shop is the simpleness and less use of spices. However, Sabina helped me to create the Mutton Handi Kebab using the same process followed by her father for making Beef Kebab and it worked just perfectly. I, though, have added just a small twist to the recipe by adding little fresh cream and it just increased the flavor and richness of the dish.
I at times am told and blamed by my friends that I don’t cook for them often these days and the family claim the same! Somehow I was able to make a big batch of Mutton Handi Kebab for the family and a group of close friends of mine a few days back. Now, the thing is, all of them are actually true foodies and know their food really well and I respect them for that and both Mehebub and Pasta know very well how they want their mutton. When I found their empty plates and consequent request I knew that I was through. It gives me a weird kind of pleasure, making food for those I love, I care for and I am friend with.
Coming to the Mutton Handi Kebab, I already have written that the dish is not dominated by the spices but the flavors of mutton itself. I have used Mutton with fat and lean meat is not a preferable option for the Mutton Handi Kebab at least with the recipe I followed. When I made it last time, I cooked around 2 Kg of mutton. I didn’t use a Handi which I have a smaller one, instead, a big Futura thick bottom deep pan was used. If you are going to try the recipe, make sure to use very good quality mutton as no water or liquid added while making the Mutton Handi Kebab. The mutton to be cooked with its own juice.
- Mutton with Fat: 1 kg
- Onion: 400g
- Garlic: 20-25 pods
- Ginger: 2"
- Papaya skin and gum: 2 Tbsp. (see notes)
- Fresh Mint: 10-12 leaves to make a paste
- Dried Red Chili: 4-6
- Green Chili: 2-3
- Lemon Juice: 3 Tbsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Dry Roasted Cumin Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Bengali Garam Masala Powder: ½ Tsp.
- Salt: to taste
- Mustard Oil: 5 Tbsp.
- Ghee: 1 Tbsp.
- Fresh Cream: 3 Tbsp.
- Wash and pat dry the Mutton Pieces. There should not be any water.
- Take a Papaya and cut a slit on the stem to extract the gum from it.
- Grate the skin of the papaya and take around 2 tbsp. of Papaya skin along with the gum extracted already and 1 Tsp. of salt and mix properly.
- Make a paste of the Onions, ginger and around 15 Garlic pods separately.
- Dry Roast the Dried red chilies along with 6- Garlic pods and make a paste of the roasted chili and garlic pods.
- Take Mutton chunks in a big bowl and rub the Papaya skin mixture until the mutton turn a bit sticky.
- Now pour half of the Mustard Oil, dry red chili and roasted garlic paste, ginger paste and normal garlic paste and mint paste over the mutton.
- extract the juice of the onions and pour the onion juice as well along with the Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder, Dry Roasted Cumin Powder and Bengali Garam Masala Powder and mix thoroughly.
- cover the bowl with a cling film and refrigerate the mutton overnight.
- At the time of cooking take the mutton out of the fridge and add lemon juice and salt as required and mix thoroughly.
- Take a deep bottom think Pan or Handi and rub Ghee inside the pan and then heat remaining Mustard Oil.
- Pour the mutton chunks along with the marinade and start slow cooking after adding slit green chilies by covering the pan for around 1.5 hours.
- Check in between and stir using a spatula as and when required and cook till the mutton soften.
- Once the mutton is done completely, add fresh cream and mix thoroughly and switch the flame off.
- Serve Mutton Handi Kebab hot with your choice of bread.
Other Mutton Recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar: