Mezban Mutton Curry

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Mezban Mutton Curry

Chittagong, in Bangladesh boasts of the unique Mezban tradition. The word Mezbaan comes from Persian, in which it means ‘host’. However, in Chittagong today, the word denotes to a community feasting that is quite unique to the place. The word sometimes becomes mejjan or mezbaani. Interestingly, no one needs to be personally invited for a mezbaan. It is usually announced publically or through word of mouth. And one can self-invite themselves, eat and leave.

The food consists of white rice, ‘nolar’ soup (tangy beef broth), a daal with beef and the star beef curry, known as the mezbaan gosht. A special masala known as ‘radhuni’ is used for the curry, which gives it the characteristic red colour and fiery taste. I tried the curry with mutton, cheated a bit and added potatoes to the mezbaan curry. To add to the feel and flavor, I cooked the curry in an earthen pot over low flame for over an hour. The taste, everybody univocally agreed is unlike any other mutton we have had before. The radhuni is a masala worth storing a jar full of in the kitchen

Ingredients:

Shoulder of mutton: 1 kg (cut into medium pieces, washed and dried)
Sliced onions: 1 cup
Onion paste: ½ cup
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp.
Garlic paste: 1 tbsp.
Mustard paste: 1 heaped tbsp.
Poppy seed paste: 1 tsp
Red chilli paste: 1 ½ tbsp.
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 ½ tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Bay leaves: 5
Radhuni masala: 2 heaped tbsp.
Salt to taste
Green chillies: 7-8
Mustard oil: ½ cup

Radhuni Masala
15 cloves
10 green cardamoms
4-5 cinnamon 2” stick
2 whole nutmeg
25gms mace
2 black cardamoms
5-6 kabab chini
25gms black pepper
50 gms fenugreek seeds
50 gms poppy seeds
50 gms white sesame seeds
25 gms fennel seeds
25 gms shahjeera
25 gms nigella seeds
25 gms celery seeds
5-6 dried red chillies

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