Mutton To Egg Curry: The 5 Best Saoji Recipes For Winter
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The winter chill demands more warm and comforting food. Maharashtrians have their own way of comforting the soul during this season, and their hearty winter dishes serve as the perfect antidote to the cold. Eating fatty and heat-generating recipes during the winter often helps in fighting off the cold and providing the much-needed energy to keep going. 

Saoji meal is one of the most fatty and heating dishes and is one of the most comforting foods during the winter. Saoji cuisine originated in the Nagpur region and is known for its spiciness, making it the perfect dish to warm up during the winter. Saoji Cuisine contains an array of rich and aromatic dishes, often featuring succulent pieces of meat, such as chicken or mutton, cooked in a fiery gravy infused with an exotic blend of spices.

Saoji dishes are primarily meat-based cuisine, which features chicken and mutton as the most widely used meats. Saoji originated from the Saoji community that still exists in the Nagpur region. They were known for their war skills and they served in the Maratha Army. Along with this, they were known for making spices in ancient times.

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The signature blend of spices that creates saoji spice mix typically consists of black pepper, cloves, cinamon, cardamom, nutmeg, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, bay leaves, red chillies, mustard seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Each spice adds a unique characteristic to the saoji spice blend, which is combined harmoniously to make an absolute amalgamation of iconic Indian spices. 

Since war skills require a high-energy, protein-rich diet to keep the body strong and healthy during long battles, they evolved their cuisine to suit their basic nutrition requirements. This cuisine is now widely popular in Nagpur and nearby regions and serves as a good source of protein and nourishment during the winter.

Today we are going to share with you 8 saoji recipes that you should make before winter goes away. 

1) Saoji Mutton 

Saoji mutton is a traditional and popular mutton curry dish known for its rich and spicy flavour. It is prepared by marinating mutton in a mixture of various spices, including black pepper, dry coconut, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and more. The spices are ground into a paste, and the meat is then cooked in this flavourful spice blend along with other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, and yoghurt. It is typically served with Indian bread like chapati or naan or with steamed rice and it will definitely give you a satisfactory feast during the winter.

2) Saoji Gavrani Chicken

Similar to saoji mutton, saoji chicken is a variation of the traditional saoji cuisine, featuring a rich and spicy flavour profile characterised by a unique blend of aromatic spices. In it, the chicken is marinated in a mixture of spices such as black pepper, dry coconut, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, and more.

The marinated chicken is then cooked with onions, tomatoes, and yoghurt to create a deliciously spicy curry. It is commonly served with Indian bread like chapati or naan or with rice, providing a satisfying and distinctive culinary experience.

3) Saoji Fish Curry

Not many people know that fish can also be made using Saoji spices. Saoji fish curry needs a shoutout for its incredible fusion of rich flavours and aromatic spices. Saoji fish curry is made with white-fleshed fish, onions, curry leaves, turmeric powder, and tomatoes.

The spicy masala consists of a blend of oil, dry red chillies, coriander seeds, chopped onion, and fresh coconut. After cooking the fish with the masala, tamarind juice, salt, and water, it's simmered until the oil floats on top. Garam masala is added for a final touch. Serve the dish hot with rice.

4) Saoji Egg Curry 

The Saoji Egg Curry stands out with Bhiwapur chilies, providing a distinctive spicy flavour and red hue. While saoji is known for its heat, this recipe moderates spice levels, catering to all age groups. The freshly ground saoji masala enhances the depth of the dish. Hard-boiled eggs are simmered in this flavourful curry, offering a delightful weeknight dinner. To relish every bite of it, serve it with whole wheat lachha paratha for a satisfying meal.

5) Saoji Keema Masala

Saoji Keema Masala is a hearty and aromatic meal prepared with minced meat, often lamb or goat, and cooked in saoji spices for an intense and spicy flavour profile. Typically, the dish is made with a mixture of tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients, along with aromatic spices. Saoji Keema Masala is best enjoyed with roti or rice, offering a hearty and satisfying meal