Mutton Pulao Dal


1 kg (2.2 lb) cubed boneless leg of lamb
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
4 tbsp + 2 tbsp canola oil
3 medium onions, finely sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
in 1-inch cubes
5 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
10 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp ground mace
8 cloves
2-inch piece cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 green chilies, chopped
5 tbsp plain yogurt, beaten lightly
1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp saffron
Salt to taste
71/2 cups water
11/4 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved

Place lamb in deep mixing bowl. Add ginger paste and garlic paste, mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature when ready to cook.

Warm 4 tbsp oil in deep non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to small bowl, reserving 3 tbsp of fried onions separately. Add 2 tbsp oil to skillet and add potatoes.

Sauté until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

In the same skillet add green and black cardamom, black peppercorns, mace, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. After a few seconds, when spices splutter, add marinated lamb. Increase heat to high and brown meat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, green chillies, larger portion of fried onions, 1 tbsp yogurt, 1/2 tsp saffron and salt. Cook 5 minutes, then add water. Mix well, cover and boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 1 hour or transfer contents of skillet to ovensafe dish, cover and bake in preheated 300F oven for 1 hour. Sauce should be thick at the end of cooking.

Meanwhile, prepare rice. Place in deep bowl and rinse two or three times under running water. Drain and set aside. Bring 7 cups water to boil in large pot set over high heat. Add rice and bring to boil again. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for 8 minutes until partially cooked. Stir once or twice only. Drain immediately and spread rice on tray to cool. In a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add 1/4 tsp saffron and toast for a few seconds. Crush saffron into small bowl with fingers and add 1 tbsp lemon juice.

In a large oven-safe pan, spread a third of the rice, sprinkle 1 tbsp reserved fried onions and 2 tbsp yogurt. Layer half the meat and sauce, 1 tsp lemon saffron liquid, half of the fried potatoes and 4 halves of boiled eggs; repeat with second layer. Top with the remaining rice, sprinkle 1 tbsp fried onions and remaining lemon saffron liquid. Cover tightly and return to the oven at 300F for 30 minutes.

Serves four


2 cups toor dal (or pigeon peas)
1/8 cup lal masoor dal (red lentils)
1/8 cup moong dal (yellow mung beans)
5 cups water
6-8 sprigs fresh coriander
A few mint leaves
1-inch piece ginger, sliced
6-8 whole black peppercorns
5-6 green cardamom pods
1/2 + 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 tsp dhana jeera powder (a blend of cumin
and coriander seed)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
3/4 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp sambhar powder
3/4 tsp dhansak masala
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
4 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lime, juiced

Place all dals in deep bowl and wash several times under running water. Cover with water and soak 30 minutes. Drain, transfer to deep heavybottomed saucepan and add water, fresh coriander, mint, ginger, black peppercorns, cardamom, 1/2 tsp turmeric and salt. Mix, bring to boil over high heat and remove some of the scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan and cook 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove scum as it forms. Dal should be very soft and mushy when done. You can either mash it well with a ladle or transfer it to a blender and blend to a fine pulp. Set aside.

Warm oil in deep non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Add remaining turmeric, dhana jeera powder, chili powder, ground cumin, garam masala, sambhar powder and dhansak masala. Sauté 2 minutes until spices are fragrant. Add ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree and tomato paste. Cook 2 minutes, then add reserved dal. Mix well and cook uncovered 15 minutes for flavours to blend. Mix in lime juice and serve hot.

Serves six to eight