This Kashmiri meaty delight combines mutton with turnips to give a flavourful lunch curry.
Sitting on the edge of a shikhara, floating over the glistening waters of Dal lake, one gets transported to a whole new world. Kashmir is rightly called the Paradise on Earth. Otherwise, where else will you find the beauty of pristine nature in conjunction with the snow-capped Himalayas, all at once? The valley is home to some pretty aesthetic views and a rich cultural heritage. During the months of February to March, tourists flock the region to witness the colourful blooming tulips. Little do people know that Kashmir has much more to offer than just a pretty picture. The intense and copious palates that Kashmiris enjoy is the reason why their cuisine is so rich and luscious.
The Kashmiri fare is a mix of meat-intensive and fierce flavours as well as nutritious essence of vegetables. The hot and fiery curries of Kashmir are no stranger to us. Be it the rogan josh or rista, the creamy gushtaba or the delicious nadru yakhni, there is a curry for every taste. The emphasis is on nutrition, wholesomeness and warmth. The harsh climate makes it natural for them to consume foods that generate heat and keep the body warm and energized. Seems like we found a new addition to this category.
Have you heard of Mutton Gogji Syun? This dish exemplifies the best way to combine meat and vegetables in a bowl. Gogji refers to turnips in Kashmiri while Syun is another name for lamb or goat meat. Combine the two and you’ll have a rich and enticing curry waiting to be slurped. While eating meat and vegetables together isn’t a very rare phenomenon in the valley, this dish has a special touch of its own. The richness of mutton complements the strong flavours of the root vegetable.
Engulfed by the aroma of this tantalising dish, you’d find it hard to let go till you’ve licked it all clean. Turnips, by nature, are an easy-to-cook vegetable with independent flavours. Red meat like lamb, on the other hand, is full of flavour and fat which lends the gogji syun a distinct taste. There is a certain pepperiness of turnips which gets all soaked up in the meat fat and the marriage between the two is like a warm hug on a cold winter day.
This is not to say that turnips cannot be cooked alone. Since they are rich and chunky, people often cook them with a few spices or pair them with lotus stem aka nadru and eat it all together. However, since you’ve been waiting to try Mutton Gogji Syun, you need to start prepping up. Begin by washing the turnips and tossing them in some salt. While they rest, you start with the next step, which is to make the meat. Mustard oil is heated in a pressure cooker and asafoetida is tempered to which tender mutton is added. Next, the spices like turmeric, fennel and ginger are tossed in. Pour some water and salt and let all of it cook together.
Simultaneously, rinse the turnips and sauté them light brown in a separate pan. Add them to the mutton and temper with some asafoetida and red chillies. Pressure cook for some time with water. Once the meat is properly cooked, serve it with steamed rice or even hot kulchas.
Here’s a detailed recipe of this mutton and turnip curry.