Mutton can make any meal festive. The popular red meat has been well integrated into the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent and is included in a whole range of dishes. From the luscious and rare rogan josh of Kashmir to the ubiquitous mutton biryani that is part of almost all non-vegetarian menus around the country, lamb meat is synonymous with festive eating for a lot of us. Carnivores can especially testify to the joy of biting into a piece of juicy, soft lamb flavoured with aromatic spices with curry or rice. There are numerous mutton curries that have been birthed in Indian kitchens and one of these is the golden lamb curry called Kundan Kaliyan.
The dish belongs to the Awadhi cuisine, which is the cuisine native of the city of Lucknow- the capital city of Uttar Pradesh. The word 'kundan' refers to the golden colour of the lamb pieces and the curry. 'Kaliyan' refers to the delicious lamb chops that are first cooked in ghee, before being flavoured with a handful of readily available spices like turmeric, yellow chilli powder, fresh ginger-garlic paste, etc. The curry is made by adding browned and pureed onions that are diluted with water and cooked together with the lamb chops. The cashew paste is added to give the curry a beautiful golden colour.
A dash of kewra water or rose water and just a smidgen of fresh cream is what makes this dish such a festive recipe. The flavourful and rich curry is easy to make and can be served with rice or any Indian flatbread of choice, including lachha parathas, naans and tandoori rotis. This recipe has been credited to Chef Diwas Wadhera of Hotel Crowne Plaza in New Delhi. Enjoy this recipe along with your mutton-loving friends and family this festive season: