January 13, 2007

VCC 191 - Oonsoru

This recipe is kindly contributed by Ms. Simoni Binoy, a member at My Dhaba's google group.

In Simoni's own words, "herewith are two recipes, one is from Kerala & the other is from Tamilnadu. We had a tamilian cook at my granny's place in Kottayam - Kerala. He was a masterchef who could conjure wonderful offbeat dishes out of nothing. These were 2 hot favourites the family would vouch for when we used to go to my Maternal Grandmother's house in Changanacherry, which is a town in Kerala. The cook is no longer alive as he died immediately after my grannys death. These 2 recipes are dedicated to him. He had learned the Tamilian recipe from his maternal grandmom & the other one from my grandmom."

Oonsoru (non-vegetarian dish made with mutton in earthern handi) recipe
Time required-1 hour
For 4 people
You need an Earthern Handi & (charcoal stove or you can use your charcoal barbeque as well)
I make it when I am down South as we have a small alcove kinda place to put charcoal & cook.

1) Good variety Rice –1 kg . soaked for half hour ( You can use Basmati rice if you wish)
2) Mutton pieces- Cut into moderate pieces & washed 1 ½ kg
Whole Cardamom – 10
Cinnamom Sticks - 5
Cloves - 10
Peppercorns - 4 Tablespoon
Coriander leaves / Cilantro leaves- 1 bunch
Turmeric powder- ½ teaspoon
3) Ghee (clarified butter)- 1 teacup
Whole Nutmeg- 3
Shallots/button onions-1/2 kg (cut into halves)

For the ground masala
4) Clove - 5
Cinnamon stick - 5
Cardamom - 5
Star Anise - 5
Nutmeg - ½ of a big pod

Dry roast & grind the 4th ingredients & keep it aside.

In a pressure cooker take the cut & clean mutton pieces into that add the whole masalas (ie ) your cinnamon stick, clove, pepper, cilantro leaves (cut & chopped ) add\n 1 ½ teaspoon salt & 2 teacups water. Close the lid & cook it till its almost done.

In an earthern pot add ghee (unclarified butter) & fry the nutmeg. Do ensure that it does not get burnt. Immediately add the shallots. Once the shallots turn slightly brown add the ground masala powder. Stir for just 1 minute & immediately add your cooked mutton & the soaked rice (the rice should be drained & taken out so that there is no water). Stir it properly & check for salt. There should be enough water from the mutton to soak the rice. In case the water is less just add ½ a cup depending on how soon the rice cooks. Transfer the vessel on a charcoal lit stove. Cover & cook for 10 minutes. Open & check if the rice is cooked or else keep for further 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

VCC: VCC Q4-2006: FAHC: FAHC-campaign