Railway Lamb / Mutton Curry (mild Rogan Josh) is a
direct throw back to the days of the British Raj, when travelling by
train was considered aristocratic. This very popular and slightly
spicy dish was served in Railway Refreshment Rooms and on long
distance trains, with Bread or Dinner Rolls. The curry was not too
spicy keeping in mind the delicate palates of the British. It was
also popular with the Railway staff who had to be on duty for long
periods at a stretch.
The stpry goes that an English army officer found
himself ravishingly hungry during his journey. He followed his nose
to the kitchen car where spicy mutton curry was simmering. He was
offered a taste and burnt his tongue because of the spices. The
helpful cook reduced the heat with some coconut milk and served it
up. Since then it has become a staple on all First Class Compartments
of the train as First Class Railway Mutton Curry.
The vinegar or Tamarind juice used in its
preparation would ensure that the curry would last for quite a few
days and was an ideal accompaniment with rice as well.
RAILWAY LAMB CURRY
Serves 6 Preparation Time 45 minutes
½ kg mutton or lamb cut into medium size
2 big onions sliced
2 pieces cinnamon
8 to 10 curry leaves
4 red chilies broken into bits
1teaspoon chilli powder
1teaspoon ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons vinegar or ½ cup of tamarind juice
Wash the meat and mix it with the ginger garlic
paste, salt and the chilly powder. Heat oil in a pan and fry the
onions, curry leaves, red chillies and spices till golden brown. Add
the meat and mix well. Fry for a few minutes. Add the vinegar /
Tamarind juice and sufficient water and cook on medium heat till the
meat is done. Keep frying until the gravy is thick and dark brown.
The ingredients change in accordance to the
availability of local items. For example, the Railway Mutton Curry
made in Kolkata is likely to use mustard oil, while in Bangalore they
will use sunflower oil.