Sunday, 20 September 2015

Mutton Pulao - Pakistani Style spice infused Mutton Pilaf

Muslims all over the world are getting ready to celebrate Eid this coming week. Every household has its own Eid traditions in Pakistan. Those of us who live away from Pakistan try to continue those traditions to ensure our kids stay connected to our culture. Eid ul Azha or Bari Eid as it is called in Pakistan is centered around food and family. This Eid is a bit more stressful because of the involvement of qurbani or animal sacrifice. Those who are incharge of qurbani at home, understand the preparation needed to buy animals for this ritual and arrange for the help needed for qurbani. Whichever day a household chooses to do qurbani is a chaotic one in the kitchen. The BBQs and the roasted raans – leg of lamb surely follow in the days ahead.
Eid is also the time to include the less fortunate ones in our celebration and remember those who are no longer with us.
I am sharing my favorite recipe of Mutton pulao. This pulao is beautifully flavored and deliciously fragrant. The stock is the key ingredient in this pulao. Stock can be prepared a night before, which can significantly reduce cooking time on a very busy day. Eid Mubarak to everyone! Here is the recipe.
Ingredients for Mutton Stock
Mutton – 1 kilo
Onions – 6 medium – sliced
Bay Leaves – 2-3
Ginger – 2 inch
Garlic – 6 large cloves whole
Cinnamon – 2 inch
Peppercorns – 1 tbsp
Cloves – 12-14
Black Cardamom – 5
Cumin – 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp.
Salt – 2 tsp (adjust to taste later while cooking rice)
Oil – 5 tbsp
Water – 6-7 cups

Stock- Procedure :
  1. Use a stockpot to make the stock. Heat oil in the pan and fry diced onions till brown.
  2. Add ginger garlic and fry for about a minute till they get a bit of color.
  3. Add mutton and fry on high heat till it changes color on all sides.
  4. Add all the spices and fry for a minute or 2.
  5. Add 6-7 cups of water and salt. Once it comes to a boil lower the heat and cover the pan. The stock should simmer on low heat for 55-70 mins or till the meat is cooked perfectly.

Once done, let the stock cool. Strain it and separate the meat. Use the stock as per your requirement and save the rest to use for next matar pulao. I was using all of the cooked meat but the stock was more than what I needed so I froze the rest for later use.

 Ingredients for Pulao/Pilaf
Basmati Rice - 1/2 kgs - 2 cups ( will feed 3 people)
Onion - 1 medium - diced
Green Chili – 1
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Cumin – 1tsp
Peppercorn – 12 whole
Black Cardamom - 2
Cloves – 6-8
Mutton Stock (Including the cooked meat)– 2 ½ to 3 cups for 2 cups of soaked rice.
Salt - to taste. Be careful as the stock already has salt.
Oil – 2 tbsp

Pulao/Pilaf - Procedure:
  1. Wash and soak the rice for atleast an hour before making the pulao.
  2. Add 2 table spoons of oil in a pan and fry the onions till brown.
  3. Add all the dry spices and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add 2 ½ cups of stock along with the meat and let it boil.
  5. Add 2 whole green chilies. I love the fragrance they add to the rice. You can eliminate it if you wish.
  6. Drain the rice and add to the hot stock. Let the rice simmer over medium heat for about 5-8 mins. Once 1/4th of the stock is remaining, put the rice on dum/steaming.
  7. I use a hot griddle over the open flame or over electric stove. Seal the pan with aluminum foil and cover tightly with a lid, Put the sealed pan over the hot griddle over low heat. Add a bit of weight on the top to stop the steam from escaping. Use minimum heat setting/low flame for steaming.
  8. The rice should be done in about 10-12 mins. Remove from heat and open the pan carefully as it would have tons of seam inside.
  9. Mix the rice and fluff them. Let them sit for about 5-7 mins before serving hot.

This pulao serves well with yogurt raita or mint chutney, coupled with shami kebabs or potato cutlets.