Kashmiri cuisine is one that is either not explored completely or is often misunderstood. I was having a conversation with a homechef from Kashmir recently, who introduced us to a whole new world of Kashmiri cuisine, which is divided into two; one that is Wazwan and the other that belongs to the Kashmiri Pandits. And while many delicacies are similar, which is why people often confuse the two, the way they are cooked makes all the difference. For most of us, the knowledge is limited to Rogan Josh! But there are certain unknown delicacies that are limited to Kashmiri households. Especially in the cuisine of Kashmiri Pandits.  

Here we are to talk about one dish that a lot of us in the rest of Indian might not know much of, and many wouldn't have even tried the authentic version of- Mutsch. Kashmiri meat balls made with minced meat of goat, Mutsch though isn’t shaped like a meatball such as kofta curry or Gushtaba but is in fact cylindrical in shape. And while the dish looks and taste like royalty, the preparations is as simple as you can imagine it to be. No onions or tomatoes in the gravy, like other dishes in traditional Kashmiri Pandit cuisine, just the spices working their magic all over. What the cuisine does rely on is a lot of fennel and ginger powder besides turmeric and red chillies for the coluring of the curry.  

Mutsch or mutschgand has cylindrical or sausage like meatballs of about 2 ½- 3″ long and a half inch or so thick, which are simmered in a gravy prepared with cloves and the bayleaf, dhaniya, saunf, and sonth powders along with red chillies, black cardamom and Kashmiri garam masala. Yes, it is simple but needs a bit of precision.

 

Mutsch is best served with rice or parathas and make sure to make a little extra since anyone who you serve this will come back for another serving! 

Here’s the full recipe: 

For the meatballs: 

250 gms minced mutton 

½ heaped tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder 

1 heaped tbsp saunf (fennel) powder 

1 clove of garlic, minced 

1 tbsp sonth (dry ginger powder) 

1 clove

1 black cardamoms 

1 tsp Kashmiri garam masala  

Salt 

2-3 tbsp mustard oil  

For the gravy:

2 cloves 

2 tsp black cardamom powder 

1 bayleaf  

1 heaped tbsp saunf 

1 tbsp mustard oil 

Red chilli powder 

 Salt 

½ tsp garam masala (to sprinkle) 

Method 

For meatballs: 

1. Place the ground mutton in a bowl. Powder the cloves and the black cardamom and add to the mince. 

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Take small portions and shape into cylindrical shapes like sausages with hands. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. 

For the gravy: 

3. In a heavy flat bottomed wok heat some oil. When it starts to simmer, add rest of the ingredients. Keep a cup of water handy. 

4. Stir quickly to fry the spices and then add water. Bring to a boil. 

5. Now add the black cardamoms and add to the pan. 

6. Turn the heat to medium and gently add the meatballs into the pan. Mix them well and       ensure they are immersed.  

7. Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. Let the gravy reduced by a third and the meat will be done.  

8. Add a half teaspoon of Kashmiri garam masala and mix.

9. Serve hot with steamed rice or paranthas.