The end of 2022 was one of heavy duty culinary activty. While the mixed nuts have been soaking in a bowl of choicest rum to be used in the cake, it so happened that we were either hosting guests at home, attending lunch invitations, or eating out. A week before Christmas, received an invitation for a pot luck Christmas Lunch, and the element of twist was the presence of a handsome French gentleman from Down Under, still recovering from the trouncing at Qatar. So while I was contemplating of a meat / fish based starter, decided to add the Gajar Halwa as a dessert. With the red Delhi carrots in abundance this time of the year, nothing beats it as a pur Indian dessert. After dithering and swinging like a pendulum amongst options, decided to make a meat based starter, “Kachkola Mangsher Tikiya“, aka mutton tikiya with raw banana. It is inspired from a recipe of the same name in the Oh! Calcutta Cookbook by Anjan Chatterjee. Honestly, the book is not one where you can expect to just follow the recipes and produce a fabulous dish similar to what you get in their chain of restaurants. This is a book of recipes where you seek inspiration and create your own.
What you Need:
- Mutton – kheema / mincemeat: 250 gms
- Raw Bananas: 2 raw bananas, boiled, peeled, mashed
- Grated Coconut: 50 gms
- Raw Papaya grated: about 3 tbsp
- Ginger Paste: 2 tbsp
- Green Chillies: 3 – 4 coarsely ground / chopped
- Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
- Black Pepper: 8-10 corns crushed. I used green peppercorns
- Mustard Powder: about 1 tbsp (Optional)
- Mustard Oil: a generous portion ~ about 2-3 tbsp
- Chopped Corriander leaf
- Salt & Sugar: As per taste
- Banana Leaf
What To Do
- Mix all the ingredients except the banana leaf. Mix it well. Keep it in the refrigerator for atleast about 4 hours. You can also keep it overnight as that brings out the flavours more.
- Take out the mix about an hour before preparation. Wet your hand, take a part of the mix and make them into balls about 1-1.5 inches in dia. Keep them aside.
- Remove the mid-rib of the banana leaf and lightly run the leaf over a fire. Cut the leaf into pieces of about 4 inches wide.
- Now take a ball of meat mix, place it on the banana leaf, turn and wrap it. You don’t need to tieit with a thread if you wrap it the right way. In case you need, tie it with a thread.
- Take a steel sieve, and spray it with a mist of oil. Place all the wrapped pieces in a steel sieve.
- Take a large pan of hot water, and once the water turns boiling, reduce the flame. PLace the sieve in such a way that the sieve does not touch the water. Cover from the top and steam it for about 15-20 mins. In case you have a double boiler / steaming arrangement, you can use that as well. Avoid making this in a microwave as it takes out the entire mositure and will not taste well.
- Serve it fresh and hot along with a mint coriander chutney. You can also serve it with a fresh chutney of a bunch of garlic greens, coriander, and few leaves of mint.
- For vegetarians: Replace the meat with soya granules. Soak the soya granules in warm water and leave it for about 10 mins. Squeeze out the water and put it in the mix. Follow the same process as above. Instead of steaming them in the banana leaf, you can shallow fry it. They taste very well and made quite an impression amongst the luncheon guests.