Sunday, 18 January 2015

Pritha’s 4-Chili Mutton Curry (Fear Factor – I dare you!)

Pritha’s 4-Chili Mutton Curry (Fear Factor - I dare you!)
Disclaimer: Try this at your own risk!

Bhut Jolakia, better known as Ghost Chili, originated in North-east India. Wiki mentions that Bhut Jolakia / Ghost chili is 900.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. It was awarded the title as the world’s hottest chili in 2007. It retained the title until December 2010.

I love spicy food and that’s why when fellow foodie (Pritha Sen) posted the recipe on a food forum, at Facebook, I desperately wanted to recreate it in my kitchen. Unfortunately, I could not for many months because Bhut Jolakia / Ghost chilies aren't available this side of the country. I finally requested my buddy to make arrangements to get me a bagful of these spicy babies and he very kindly obliged. In all honesty, I know, not many will be recreating this recipe because of the spice quotient but I had to post this at my blog because I've always wanted to use Bhut Jolakia / Ghost Chilies. Finally, I did!

Pritha had named this dish, 'Four-Chili Mutton Curry. I decided to add, ‘Fear Factor – I dare you!’ *evil me* I would have also added the words, 'do not try this at home', but if not at home, where else will you give this a shot? :P If you want to opt for ‘spicy’, then ‘this’ is the real deal! 
I truly feel saying this is very necessary and hence I repeat the disclaimer, ‘try this dish at your own risk!’ I say this because one end of me was on fire when I ate this curry, while the other end of me, the next morning, had me singing, ‘ice-ice baby’ at the top of my lungs. Then again, what’s life without a few risks, right? ;-)

My bagful of spicy babies (Dry Bhut Jolakia / Ghost Chilies)


750 grams mutton
2 tablespoons mustard oil, for marinating
10 tablespoons onion paste
3 teaspoons red Kashmiri chili powder
7 teaspoons tamarind paste
Salt to taste
1 star anise
8 tablespoons mustard oil
4 green chilies, keep whole
3 eggs, hard boil, shell and cut each in half

Ingredients – Grind to a smooth-thick paste:

7 whole dry red Kashmiri chilies
7 green chilies
2 dry Bhut Jolakia / Ghost chilies (awarded the title - world’s hottest chili from 2007-2010)
24 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
6 green cardamoms
6 cloves
2 medium-sized bay leaves
1½ inch piece cinnamon
3 inch piece ginger
25 cloves garlic
16 curry leaves

  1. Marinate the meat with the ground paste and 2 tablespoons mustard oil. Keep aside for an hour or two.

  2. Heat 8 tablespoons mustard oil and fry the onion paste till light golden.

  3. Add the marinated meat and fry on medium heat, stirring intermittently, till the mutton is nicely browned and the ground paste is nicely fried. 
  4. Add the Kashmiri chili powder and star anise. Sauté till well blended with the mutton.

  5. Add tamarind paste and give it a stir. 
  6. Transfer the mutton to a pressure cooker and add 1 liter water, enough for thin gravy. 
  7. Pressure cook for two whistles. After two whistles, reduce the flame to lowest setting and cook for 7 minutes and turn off the heat. 
  8. Once the pressure in the cooker subsides, transfer the mutton into a vessel. 
  9. Add green chilies, boiled eggs and serve with soft steamed rice or soft pau or crusty brun bread.

Chef Notes:
  1. IMPORTANT WARNING: When you handle Bhut Jolakia / Ghost chilies do NOT handle them with the naked hand. Please don a pair of gloves to handle them. Also, marinate the mutton with a spoon or wear gloves when you marinate. If you fail to take adequate precautions you are sure to undergo a very intense burning sensation that may last a minimum of two days. 
  2. Not many can tolerate so much spiciness / heat; I would therefore advise readers to halve each ingredient and, first, make only half a portion to check whether you are able to tolerate the maddening spiciness. I say this because I would hate to see your ingredients go waste. 
  3. If the ground paste and the mutton stick to the vessel during the frying process, use a wooden spoon and keep scraping the bits from the bottom. Those scrapped bits lend a lot of flavor to the dish. 
  4. Please know that the words, ‘I dare you’ are written IN JEST! You do not have to make this as spicy as mentioned in the recipe. If you omit the Bhut Jolakia / Ghost chilies it will reduce the spice quotient to a very large extent. You can also go a step further and reduce other variety of chilies, listed in the recipe, to suit your taste buds. Then again, if you're as nutty as I am, use the Bhut Jolakia / Ghost chilies. Uffff! That’s a very evil suggestion. :D 
  5. Feel free to adjust the tamarind paste to balance the spicy flavor. 
  6. I used mustard oil but you prefer to use regular cooking oil, please do so. 
  7. You may share the direct blog-link of the recipe/s but do NOT publish my recipes and my photographs on any blog-site or website without my explicit consent or attempt to pass off my recipe/s as your own. You will be held accountable for plagiarism.

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