Shubho Bijoya. Happy Dussehra. Bijaya Dashami is perhaps the greatest foodie climax that a Durga Puja can have.
What were your reasons of eating out this Durga Puja ? – I listed 10 of mine here
When I was young, this day after Puja was perhaps busier than ever. The entire gang of friends, going out to each others house in a row, one after another and those different types of mishtis being served throughout. Some home made, some bought from the market. Gaja ( a sweet made out of pastry dough), nimki ( deep fried snack made out of refined flour), narkel naru ( sweet coconut balls) ( these are some of the Bengali delicacies associated with this day and I dare translate them but a humble effort) were automatic choices for any line up, while each house had some sweet or savory dish which was unique to that household. These unique dishes, over the years almost became speciality of that household. You wouldn’t get that at any other point of time in the year other than Bijaya Doshomi .
Also read – Grilled fish on Nabami of Durga Puja 2015
My uncle and aunt used to live in Bandel – A suburb small town about 2 hours drive from Kolkata. Whenever we used to visit them, it was nimkis and gajas galore for the kids. However there was a typical ghugni with keema (minced meat) which was spicy, hot and meant for the elders. There was a significant period of time when we always wished to taste that but never got a chance, till one such year when all of a sudden we became eligible. That’s one of the yummiest Ghugni ( a stew made from dried white peas ) I ever had and still now, the taste lingers in my mouth.
Whenever we go to Chili’s (the restaurant), we always order a buffalo chili to start with. We are absolutely in love with buffalo chili. This pujo, we thought, why not make it at home, only in a more bengali way and using mutton keema. It is possible to make this very quickly in a pressure cooker, or slow cook it to as long as you want it. Either way, a bowl of this stew has an incredible depth of flavour and blows you away with every spoon. We tried to reinvent it a little bit for this Bijaya Doshomi for guests at your home.
Both my uncle and aunt have passed away sometime back, but one of the inseparable memories with the aunt is this ghoogni. Isn’t that normal? Certain foods always recreate memories of a place, of a person or of a time.
Shubho bijaya once again!
Mutton Keema Chili
Time Taken: 45 minutes to an hour
|Mutton Keema/ Lamb Mince||250 Gms||Kidney Beans (Rajma) Boiled||3/4 th cup|
|Ginger Paste||1 ½ tsp||Garlic Paste||2 tsp|
|Onion Paste||½ cup||Cinnamon||½ inch|
|Smashed Green Cardamom||1 no||Cloves||2 nos|
|Dried Red Chili||1 no||Sugar||1 – 2 tsp|
|Tomato Puree||1/2 cup||Cumin powder||1 tsp|
|Chili Powder||1 tsp||Kashmiri Red Chili Powder||2 tsp|
|Instant Coffee powder||1/2 tsp||Cocoa Powder||1/4 tsp|
|Salt||As per taste||Any white oil||2 tbsp|
|Grated cheese||For garnish||Beaten Hung Curd or sour cream||A dollop|
- Take a heavy bottom sauce pan and heat the oil. when the oil is hot, add the dried red chili, the cinnamon stick, cardamom and cloves. Once the red chili has slightly blackened, add the onion paste.
- Now add the ginger and garlic paste and keep stirring so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Sprinkle some salt and about 1/ 2 tsp of sugar to this and then add the tomatoes, the cumin powder and the 2 different chili powders.
- Stir for a few seconds and add the mutton keema.
- Take a couple of tbsp of rajma in your hand and crush and add to the pan. Add the rest of the rajma as well.
- In a bowl, take the coffee powder and cocoa powder and make a paste using some water. Add the paste to the pan. This instantly gives a lot of colour and flavour to the chili.
- Add the rest of the sugar and adjust the seasoning. The amount of sugar depends on the kind of taste one likes.
- At this point, you can either put the entire thing in a pressure cooker. (In case you plan to make it in the pressure cooker, then the rajma has to be par boiled).
- I decided to let it cook in the sauce pan, since I had some time in my hand. Add 2 cups of water. Cover and cook for another hour. The longer you cook, the better the colour and flavour. Keep stirring from time to time.
- The keema actually takes less than half hour to cook. Once you have reached the deep dark red colour, take it off the heat.
- Serve it with some grated cheese and sour cream. If you don’t find sour cream, just use beaten hung curd.
- You can refrigerate it overnight and it tastes better the next day.
When it comes to some of the traditional sweets you can try out some from sweethandi