This dish has a Colonial lineage. As the story goes, Dak bungalows thrived in India during the days of the East India Company. A number of dishes originated from this period some of which have transcended time to remain popular even today. The mutton dak bungalow is one such recipe steeped in history. Another interesting nuance in the story is that the recipe for the dish varies with the geographical location of the dak bungalows which has a bearing on the spice and ingredients in the dish. My attempt has been to combine the best of several recipes available. I have used Potato and eggs which is common to most of the dak bungalow recipes. One may replace mutton with chicken using the same recipe. Since it’s mutton, it’s recommended that the dish be prepared a day before it is intended to be consumed. This makes the mutton more succulent and allows the flavour to fester. Though the dish might look a little tedious to cook, it’s every bit worth it!!! So relive the dak bungalow culinary experience with this delectable dish. Happy Fooding Around.
A Colonial Legacy
- 1 Kg Mutton (bone-in-goat meat)
- 4 Tbsp Mustard Oil
- 2 Tbsp Ghee ( clarified butter)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 large Onions, finely chopped
- 2 medium sized Tomatoes, diced into quarters
- 1 – 2 green chillies finely chopped (according to spice intake)
- ½ Tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
- 1 large Onion, cut into quarters ( to be added to the grinder or processor)
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped Garlic (to be added to the grinder or processor)
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped Ginger (to be added to the grinder or processor)
- 1 heaped Tsp Sugar
- 4 – 6 Boiled Eggs
- 4 – 6 Potatoes, halved (Optional)
- 2 cups hot water
- Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Marination :
- 3 Tbsp Curd
- 1 Tbsp Garlic paste
- 1 Tbsp Ginger paste
- ½ Tsp Turmeric
- ½ Tsp Cumin powder
- ½ Tsp Coriander powder
- ½ Tsp Red Chilli powder
- 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1 tsp Salt
Ingredients For Dry Roast and Grinding :
- 4 – 5 green Cardamon
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 4 Cloves
- 2 – 3 dry Red Chillies ( according to level of spice intake)
- ½ Tsp Coriander seed
- ½ Tsp Cumin seed
- ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
- ¼ Tsp Jaifal powder (Nutmeg powder)
- ¼ Tsp Javitri powder (Mace powder)
- Wash and pat dry the mutton pieces. Marinate it with all the ingredients for marination. Mix well and coat all the mutton pieces with the marinade. Seal it with a cling film and keep it in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hrs. You may even keep it overnight. If you marinate it overnight, remove and keep the meat for at least an hour so that it gets to a room temperature.
- In a griddle/tava over medium-low flame dry roast all the ingredients under ‘Dry Roast’. Do not over roast or burn the spices. Wait till they release aroma and turn lightly toasted. Turn off the flame and let the roasted spices cool down to room temperature.
- To a grinder or a processor, add the roasted spices and grind them to a fine powder. Open the grinder jar and add the 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic, 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger and 1 medium onion that was diced into quarter. Grind them all together to a fine paste along with the roasted spice powder mix. Keep them ready to be used during cooking.
- Peel and shell the boiled eggs. Prick the skin of the eggs with a toothpick and marinate them with a pinch each of turmeric and salt. If you are using potatoes, peel and marinate in the same way as you did to the boiled eggs.
- In a deep bottom pan, heat 2 -3 tbsp oil and shallow fry the marinated eggs till they are light golden brown followed by the marinated potatoes. Drain them on paper towels and keep aside.
- In the same pan add rest of the oil and the ghee. When hot temper with the 2 bay leaves before adding the 2 chopped onions and green chillies. Stir for a bit before adding the diced tomatoes, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and the sugar. Keep stirring at regular intervals.
- Cook over medium flame for 3 -4 mins or until oil is released and the raw masalas are cooked . Next add the whole of the marinated mutton to the pan. Mix well and keep stirring from time to time and cook for another 10 mins.
- Now add the dry roasted and ground masala paste mix to the mutton. Mix well and thoroughly. Stir and cook for 5 – 7 mins over medium flame. Next add 1.5 -2 cups hot water, cover and cook over medium-low flame for 50 mins to 1 hour or till the mutton is 80% tender and soft. Remember to stir at regular intervals. At this stage add the shallow fried eggs and potatoes to the mutton. Stir frequently and cook for another 5 -10 mins over medium heat till the meat is 100% cooked and the potatoes are tender to the touch. Lastly add 1 tsp of ghee. Mix well. Switch off flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and green chillies. Your Mutton Dak Bungalow is ready.
- In case you are short of time, you may transfer the mutton to a pressure cooker after adding the roasted and ground masala paste along with the 1.5 – 2 cups of hot water. Cook on high till the first whistle. Lower flame and cook on sim for another 15 mins. Take off lid once the cooker is cooled to add the shallow fried eggs and potatoes to the mutton. Stir frequently and cook for another 3 -4 mins over medium heat without closing the pressure cooker lid. For convenience of stirring you may transfer the mutton to the deep bottom pan you were using initially.
- You may add some more water if required at this stage according to your desired thickness of the gravy. Cook till gravy thickens, for about 8 to 10 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning. Lastly add 1 tsp of ghee. Mix well. Switch off flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and green chillies. Your Mutton Dak Bungalow is ready.
- Serve hot with plain rice, naan, rotis, paratha or puris.
One may replace mutton with chicken using the same recipe. Since it’s mutton, it’s recommended that the dish be prepared a day before it is intended to be consumed. This makes the mutton more succulent and allows the flavour to fester. Its important to marinate the mutton for 2 to 4 hrs. Seal with a cling film and refrigerator it. You may even keep it overnight. If you marinate it overnight, remove and keep the meat for at least an hour so that it gets to a room temperature.
- Serving Size: 4