This week our beloved dog turned 4 years. Had it not been for my pet-loving and persistent daughter, I do not think we would have ever got any pet. Since we like to take long vacations, we always knew that having a pet could be difficult. But we have Narco, our Amstaff, for almost a year now. He was rescued from the shelter and we took him home. From day one, we all fell in love with him. Those sad eyes are to die for and they could blackmail you without having to do much but just give you "the look". When Narco was brought to us, we were told that he cannot eat any ready-made food and his food needs to be prepared at home. So of course, being the foodie I am, preparing a fresh meal for him everyday is no big deal. I pressure cook any vegetables I might have along with some meat and bones and rice or oats and Narco has a hot meal too. His all time favourite though has to be sausages and eggs. And any leftovers from our curry, he relishes.
People often ask me how I get time to cook since I work full time too. For me, personally, it is all about planning. Days that I am very busy, I know ahead of time and for those days I choose mainly grilled food with salads or some easy vegetarian dish that is quick to prepare. I leave the more complex dishes for days where I am more at leisure. The again I do not see cooking as a chore - to me it is a way to create something - a way to experiment with something. It is beautiful seeing the vegetables and meats changing colours and texture as you add spices or increase or decrease the heat. It is always pleasurable to see how the cake rises in the oven at the right temperature.
Preparation Time: 2.5 hours
1 kilo mutton, cut into neat pieces
6 cloves of garlic
1” piece ginger
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 ½ tablespoons cashew nuts, broken into bits
230 ml yoghurt
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter
- Divide the yoghurt into two parts and keep in two separate bowls.
- Slice and fry one of the onions till golden brown.
- Pound cloves, peppercorns and cardamoms coarsely and keep aside.
- Grind the poppy seeds and cashew nuts together.
- In one of the yoghurt bowls, mix the fried and browned onions, poppy-cashew nut mixture, pounded spices and the chilli powder and keep aside.
- Grind the remaining onion and ginger and garlic to a paste and marinate the meat in this along with the second part of the yoghurt and salt for 1 hour.
- Keep chilled in the refrigerator covered.
- Heat butter in a thick bottomed vessel.
- When hot, add the meat and its marinade and cook covered on a low flame for 1 hour.
- Now add the other part of the yoghurt to the cooked meat and cover and simmer this for another ½ hour. Stir occasionally.
- Serve hot with rice or chappatis.