Ever since Pushpen moved to Canada he has been missing home and home cooked food. Every night during his video calls with his mother, he would ask, what’s cooked tonight, and order similar takeaways from the neighbouring Indian restaurants, which were either too oily or absolutely tasteless. So this year on Poila Baisakh, as his mother was getting ready to prepare a scrumptious menu for the rest of the family, she decided, if his son couldn’t be home on Naboborsho, a part of the celebration could be extended, to where he was. It was Sunday and Pushpen was home. His mother made the video call in the morning and asked him to straight away get in to the kitchen. The rest was a video tutorial, a mother teaching her son to prepare his comfort food, Kochi Pathar Jhol. Needless to say, after a long time that afternoon, Pushpen had a heartfelt satisfying meal. This Poila Baisakh, you too enjoy the most relished comfort food of millions of Bengalis across the globe, Kochi Pathar Jhol.
Take the mutton pieces in a bowl, add 2tbsp curd, 1tbsp turmeric powder, 1tbsp red chilli powder, a pinch of salt, 1tbsp mustard oil and mix it well. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Use the marination time to cut each potato into 4 small cubes and fry them.
Put the pressure cooker on medium flame, add 5tbsp mustard oil and let it heat. Add 1tsp sugar to the oil followed by 1 grated garlic clove, stir it for a second. Now add the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves to the oil and stir it for a couple of seconds. Next add 2 finely chopped onions, 1tbsp garlic paste and 1 tbsp ginger paste, stir all the ingredients for 1 minute, now add 1tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp red chilli powder and stir it for another 2 minute.
Next add the marinated mutton and fried potato cubes, and give it a god stir with all the ingredients. Add a cup of water in the marinated bowl and heat it for a minute. Add this luke warm water into the pressure cooker, add salt per taste, stir it well and put on the lid. Let it cook on high flame until the first whistle. Now turn the heat in to medium flame and cook it for another 20 minutes. Then uncover the lid and your Kochi Pathar Jhol is ready to be served with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!
P.S. one of the basic elements in this dish is its color. To get a bright red color, add sugar and grated garlic to the oil before adding any other ingredient.