Mutton Dahi Bara/ Goat Meatballs in a Yogurt Sauce

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Homeward bound. Hello, how is everyone doing? Is the festive season making you giddy with joy or driving you up the wall? As for me, I’m going home! ‘Home’ is actually more than one place for me, but this time I’m going to Jodhpur. I’ll be celebrating the mother of all festivals, Diwali, at home after six years. It’s going to be extra special because baby boy has a short break for Diwali and will be at home with me; I haven’t seen him since the school term began  in July. I’m a little nervous and a lot excited to see how much he has grown and changed; I will of course share the latest with all of you.  And so, no time to chit chat today; lots to be done before I leave tomorrow, lots of packing and well, repacking. I still haven’t taken a printout of my ticket *gasp*.

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I’m going to try my absolute best to put up some gorgeous recipes from our kitchen back home; but it’s the festival season and baby boy will also be home so it might take longer than usual. Though I do promise it will be totally worth it. And I forgot to pack my slippers *gasp*.

I really wanted to get in one last post before I leave so  here is a Mutton Dahi Bara recipe to add a little glamour to your party table; because festivals aren’t just about the sweet! Like this Mussallam Raan, here’s another recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, Cooking Delights of the Maharajas. Its winter time, I’ll need to carry a jacket too *more gasps*.

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I made some changes to the recipe to make it a little healthier; the baras were baked in the oven instead of being fried and it tasted just as good. Anyone who knows my cooking also knows I’m not one to skimp and save on the butter and fat, in this case though I have to say the baked version was just as good. It’s also easier (and not as messy) especially when you’re cooking for a crowd. Also the meat can be cooked  ahead of time, shaped and stored in the fridge, and on the day of, just pop it into the oven and assemble.

I didn’t serve this with any additional sauce or chutney but next time I think I’ll try it with either a mint-coriander sauce (with green chilies of course) and/or a tangy tamarind sauce. Where did I keep the last minute gift I bought for my little niece? *tired of gasping*; I really need to get on with my packing. So here’s the recipe and here’s wishing you all a wonderful festive season, filled with great food.

Happily homeward bound 🙂

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Ingredients

  • Minced (goat) meat/Keema -500 grams
  • Salt – 1 ½ tsp (adjust according to taste)
  • Red chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Cumin (whole) – 1 tsp
  • Ground onions – 1 medium onion
  • Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  • Split gram/chana dal – 1/3 cup
  • Garam masala powder – 2 tsp
  • Yogurt – 500 grams
  • Sour Buttermilk – 500 ml
  • Oil/Ghee – 2-3 tbsp
  • Fresh Mint leaves- a handful
  • Additional salt and chili powder for the yogurt ( ½-1 tsp)

Instructions

  • Soak the split gram/chana dal in water for an hour or so. Though this step is optional, soaking the dal will help make it tender and cook faster.
  • Cook the meat by boiling it in 3-4 cups of water along with salt, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, cumin seeds, ground onions, garlic paste, ginger paste and split grams/dal.
  • Once the meat is cooked, cook off any remaining liquid. Then add the garam masala powder and grind the meat finely (I used a regular mixer to grind the meat).
  • Make lemon sized balls of the meat mixture and flatten, with damp hands give the baras a smooth and even shape.
  • Preheat oven to 180C-200C.
  • Place the baras on a baking sheet, brush generously with oil on both sides and bake till nicely browned. Flip the baras halfway through baking to get them evenly browned.
  • Alternatively, heat oil/ghee (you will need more than the 2-3 tbsp listed above) in a pan and shallow fry till nicely browned (I baked it instead).
  • Take the baras out of the oven, soak for a minute or so in buttermilk. Take it out of the buttermilk and place onto a serving dish.
  • Whisk yougurt, add water (only if your yogurt is quite thick), season with salt, red chili powder (start with a little, add as required). Add chopped mint leaves. You can also a little powdered sugar to the yogurt, if you like (I didn’t).
  • Pour yogurt over the baras, garnish with mint leaves and serve at room temperature. They lose their softness once placed in the refrigerator, but taste just as good.

Notes

*I never have ‘sour buttermilk’ just lying around so I added a little water to yogurt, squeezed in juice of half a lemon and whisked it together. This is what I used in place of sour buttermilk.

*I baked the baras in the oven, but you can fry them, if you like. If frying the baras, squeeze them gently when removing from the buttermilk bath.

*If you feel the baras are just not holding together, you can try adding some breadcrumbs.

*I didn’t cook the meat in a pressure cooker. If using a pressure cooker, you might not need as much water.

*I served this as is, but I think spicy mint-coriander chutney or tangy tamarind chutney would be quite nice with it.

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