Best Mutton Dak Bungalow recipe
Established in India in the 1840s by the peripatetic British, Dak Bungalows were these government buildings set up along the main roads, perpetually changing how people travel in India. They served both as lodgings for travelers (usually British officials) as well as post offices for the British mailing system. Even today, CPWD-run dak bungalows continue to occupy an important place in the lives of India’s civil servants.
Back in the day, dak bungalows used to be pretty basic houses with bare minimum supplies, usually taken care of by a Khansamah (house-steward) or durwan who also cooked meals for the travelers. That is how this dish gets its funny name. A dak bungalow mutton signifies mutton typically cooked in a dak bungalow. Given that these structures were present all over the country, it is fair to assume that the dak bungalow mutton recipe was not consistent and depended largely on the location of a dak bungalow as well as the availability of ingredients. It is possible that eggs and potatoes, the characteristic elements of this dish, were included because they were easily available, even during the wars, which is also how eggs and potatoes sneaked into the Bengali biriyani.
Mutton Dak Bungalow
- pressure cooker
- 500 grams bone-in goat/lamb meat
- 2 tbsp yogurt
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
For special dak bungalow spice
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 8-10 black peppercorns
- 6 green cardamoms
- 6 cloves
- 1 blade of mace
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2-4 whole dry red chilies
- 4 hardboiled eggs
- 2-3 medium potatoes washed, peeled and halved
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 tsp radhuni optional
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 2 green chilies slit
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- Marinate the meat with all the ingredients listed under "marinade" and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, slightly dry roast all the ingredients listed under "special dak bungalow spice" and grind into a powder.
- Prick the skin of the boiled eggs with a fork to prevent them from spluttering while frying.
- Heat mustard oil and ghee in a thick bottomed pan and separately fry the eggs and potatoes till golden brown. You may add a pinch of red chili powder and turmeric. Drain the eggs and potatoes on an absorbent paper.
- To the same oil, add radhuni, cumin seeds and bay leaves. When they start to splutter, add onions and fry till translucent.
- Add ginger, garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until oil separates.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-6 more minutes.
- Add the marinated meat and stir to evenly coat them with the sauce.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup of water (quantity of water may vary depending on the pressure cooker)
- Add special spice powder, salt and sugar; cover and cook until the meat is tender (2-3 whistles).
- Carefully open the pressure cooker after letting the steam escape completely.
- Add eggs and potatoes.
- Give it a good stir, adjust seasonings, and serve with roti, parantha or pulao.