Few words from the past
The purpose of writing a blog is many but one of the best part is that you can look back, take a stock of how things have shaped up and certain misses also. Interestingly, we had all the characters present then and the shooting happened in front of them. This time the shooting happened earlier but the party happened indeed and we had people eating this.
This was the last time we roasted a chicken at home – Link (here
It is a journey down memory lane – between my friends Dipjoy, Swarup and me, we have all had personal loss in 2015 in terms of one of our parents. Dipjoy and Sakshi, Madhushree and me have been blessed with daughters in a gap of 8 months, Swarup has got married and many more incidents have taken place professionally as well as on personal front. We have made friends, some friends for lifetime and also lost a few. Dipjoy, Swarup and I have aged gracefully (hopefully) and slowly moving towards the trio of Ashok Kumar, A K Hangal and Utpal Dutt in Shaukeen the movie.
In 2014, we never thought that we will survive 3 years and get addicted to blogging and try to take it seriously. Madhushree is now a serious food stylist and cooks regularly for the blog. The project of mine has ended after seeing many ups and downs and we are in a state to hand over a super speciality Hospital which has got Modular Operation theatre and other Specialised Services. If ever you happen to travel near New Alipore in Kolkata and get a chance to enter Eastern Command Hospital, then you can check out the building which I was involved with.
Why we got interested in Masala Raan and the story behind
Masala Raan is this years dish. I came across this article by Vir Sanghvi on Raan and realised how often we mistake Masala Raan as an alternative or Indian version of Lamb Roast and the general notion is like this all across. The truth lies in the fact that a Masala Raan calls for goat meat and it cannot be any leg but the hind legs which are actually called Raan. These are often considered as toughest to cook and keema is made from them.
Read this article by Mr. Vir Sanghvi on Raan (Link)
Masala Raan is a delicacy for sure and the essence lies in making the marinade. This needs to make your hands dirty. This paste was all green (as green as you can get in jealousy), the paste had to be properly smeared along the Raan and then roasted in the OTG.
I searched the Raan memory files in my brain and remembered the Ilaichi Raan which we had Abcos a year back. Many a times, the food court of now closed and reopened South city Mall have seen us digging into the Raan platter which was served from one of the counters. Koyla the Hyderabadi joint in Pune also had a great Raan to crave for.
No, there is no reason to be thrilled by Roasted Lamb as we have the Masala Raan . On a winter evening, sit down with close friends, tackle the Raan using your hand, sip your single malt (remember Indians used to have Sura) and celebrate the festivities.
- 2 kg leg of mutton
For the Marinade
- 1 1/2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 10 Nos peppercorns
- 1 Blade mace
- 1 tsp nutmeg powder
- 4 nos green cardamom
- 6 nos cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bunch mint leaves
- 1 bunch coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp malt vinegar substitute with regular vinegar in case you do not have malt vinegar
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp Thick Yogurt
- 3 tbsp Garlic Paste
- 4 nos green chilies
- juice of one lemon
- Salt To Taste
- 10 nos small potatoes
- 2 nos Large Onions
- 1 cup Mustard Oil
- sea salt
For the gravy
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tsp Flour
- salt as required
- Wash and clean the raan thoroughly and pat it dry. WIth a sharp knife, make deep scores at various places in the raan for the marinade to go through.
- Dry roast the whole spices in a frying pan till they release some aroma.
- Then in a grinder, make a paste of the spices along with all the ingredients listed under marinade. Also add 2 tbsp of mustard oil to this paste and grind. The paste should be a smooth fine paste. In case you feel that the sourness is too much, add a bit more of sugar to balance it.
- Now place the raan in a roasting tray.
- Smear the marinade all over the raan. Not an inch of space should be left. Use all the marinade properly over the raan and massage the meat.
- Now leave the raan overnight in the refrigerator. If not overnight, then at least for 4 to 5 hours.
- Before placing in the oven, take the raan out of the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature.
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Drizzle some mustard oil over the raan and sprinkle some sea salt and then place it in the oven.
- While the raan is on the oven, take the potatoes and wash them well. Poke the potatoes with a fork all over. Then in a pout of boiling water, put some salt and then boil the potatoes for 8 minutes.
- After 8 minutes, drain the water out and keep the potatoes aside. Cut the onions into quarters.
- After about half an hour of the raan in the oven, take the tray out and baste the raan with the juices which are flowing out along. Baste the raan with some more mustard oil and place the raan back into the oven.
- Keep basting every half hour for best result. After 2 hours of oven time, increase the temperature to 200 degrees and place the onions and the potatoes all around the raan.
- Sprinkle some sea salt over the potatoes and the onions. Drizzle mustard oil. Then put the tray back into the over for roasting for another hour.
- In case you feel that the meat has become tender in less than an hour, then do as per that. The potatoes and onions take about 25- 30 minutes to cook.
- Take the tray out of the oven when the meat becomes tender. Check with a fork if it is going in smoothly.
- Take the raan and the vegetables out of the tray and keep them aside.
- With a spoon, scrape out masalas and the jus from the tray and put them in a sauce pan.
- Don't scrape out the really burnt bits.
- Then add a half a cup of water and half a cup of red wine and let it simmer for 8 - 10 minutes over medium to low heat.
- Make a slurry with the flour and 2 tbsp of water and put it into the sauce and stir properly so that no lumps are formed.
- Give it one boil and season as per your taste. If the consistency is too thick, then add some more water.
- Serve the raan with the vegetables and the sauce on the side.