” People who love to eat are always the best people ” – Julia Child
. I am from the Royal land of Rajasthan famous for its vibrant hues & equally vibrant cuisine. My earliest food memory takes me way back to my childhood when I was hardly 5 yrs old. I clearly remember the winters when we used to tuck ourselves inside the warm blankets eating roasted peanuts, jaggery, and sesame seed ladoos. Over the weekends, we were treated with my Mom’s special Lal Maas (Red meat ) with bajre ki roti.
It is a Rajasthani non -vegetarian specialty cooked with loads of spices & ghee ( clarifies butter ). I remember when my mother used to plan this dish, she used to start the preparation since morning. This dish was cooked for a good hour and a half on Koyala sigree ( coal stove ) and was rested for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
During those days, although mixer & grinders entered the kitchen, the spice mix was grinded on stone known as ‘Sil batta’ . It was a tedious task, but the flavors that it rendered to the mix was unmatched. A whole bunch of 15 distinct spices were added to the mix ranging from cardamom, cloves, Mathahnia red dried chilies and many more. ( I later noted down the recipe & tried myself several times: ) )
The coal sigree was prepared in the morning itself. A heavy bottomed utensil was used for the preparation. My mother used home made ghee for special dishes. When the spice mixer was mixed with the hot ghee, the aroma traveled across many houses. The neighbors used to get the whiff that Lal maas was cooked in our house. Some of them even used to drop by later in the evening to taste the delicacy. Once the mixer & oil was separated tender pieces of lamb was added to the mix & cooked for several minutes.
We all used to gather around the stove to taste the roasted mixture. It was absolutely finger licking. After thorough roasting hung curd was added to the dish & covered to be simmered for next 1 1/2 hr. The aroma of meat cooking left us even more hungry.
At last in the evening we used to gather for the dinner. Stomach churning & mouth drooling for the pop of spices. The last tempering was done with yet some more ghee, minced garlic & a green cardamom. A bowl was placed in the pot with a piece of burning coal. The lid was closed for few minutes to let the smoke infuse in the meat. We were served the Lal maas with hot & crisp bajre ki roti again laden with ghee, a piece of jaggery & garlic chutney.
The color of the gravy was as rich as the brightest hues of sunset. The sweet smell of cardamom along with other spices enticed all the senses. It was a treat for eyes, brain & taste buds. The lamb used to be so tender that it would break with two fingers. A single morsel of roti, lamb followed by a bit of jaggery would transport you to the food heaven. Lamb used to melt in the mouth leaving you craving for more. Oh someone please send me back in time !!
Today whenever I recall those moments I so want to relive them. But when I think about the tedious procedure of coal stove cooking & number of utensils required, I simply give up.The coal stove is so inconvenient. These traditional methods of cooking are neither feasible. So how do you translate the same flavors with a modern technique? Is it even possible.YES, It is! With 100 % flameproof & microwave safe cookware range from BOROSIL.
This amazing range of microwave can perfectly replace the heavy bottomed utensils and coal stove cooking. The ‘Gourmet cook & serve ‘ range can be conveniently used on the direct flame for Indian cooking. As for the Lal maas, the initial tempering & roasting could be done on direct flame.Later it could either be simmered on the gas stove or could be used in the microwave for slow cooking. The best part is cooking becomes hassle-free, time-saving & non- messy. And I need not to use another serving dish. Borosil Gourmet cook & Serve is so attractive that the food can be served directly in it.I am so tempted to bring home the complete range of ‘Gourmet cook & serve ‘ range and try all my mom’s recipes with the smoke & piles of dirty utensils after cooking.