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Dak Bungalow Mutton Curry

Established in India in the 1840s by the peripatetic British, Dak Bungalows were these government buildings set up along the main roads, perpetually changing how people travel in India. They served both as lodgings for travelers (usually British officials) as well as post offices for the British mailing system. Even today, CPWD-run dak bungalows continue to occupy an important place in the lives of India’s civil servants.

Back in the day, dak bungalows used to be pretty basic houses with bare minimum supplies, usually taken care of by a Khansamah (house-steward) or durwan who also cooked meals for the travelers. That is how this dish gets its funny name. A dak bungalow mutton signifies mutton typically cooked in a dak bungalow. Given that these structures were present all over the country, it is fair to assume that the dak bungalow mutton recipe was not consistent and depended largely on the location of a dak bungalow as well as the availability of ingredients. It is possible that eggs and potatoes, the characteristic elements of this dish, were included because they were easily available, even during the wars, which is also how eggs and potatoes sneaked into the Bengali biriyani. 

For Marinade:

500 gms Goat Meat (Mutton)( Tastes as good with lamb)

2 tbsp Yogurt

1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder

Salt (According to taste)

2 tbsp Mustard Oil

Ingredients For Dak bungalow Spice Mix :

1-2 Bay Leaves

1 Mace

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 Inch Cinamon

6 Cloves

8-10 Black Peppercorn

6 Green Cardamoms

1 tbsp Coriander Seeds

2 Dried Red Chillies

Gravy Ingredients:

2 tbsp Mustard Oil

3 Potatoes (Peeled)

2 Eggs (Boiled)

1 cup sliced onions

1/2 Cup Tomatoes (Chopped)

1/2 tsp Sugar

1 Cup Water


(Serves 4)

1. Add the Mutton to the bowl

2. Add the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt as required.

3. After adding the spices, add the 2 tbsp Mustard Oil which provides a powerful punch of flavour.

4. Mix the ingredients in the bowl well and let it sit for 30 Minutes.

5. For the spice mix grind these spices into a smooth powder: bay leaves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, green cardamom, coriander seeds and dried red chillies.

6. For prepping the gravy: Heat the pan on high flame.

7. Add 2 tbsp Mustard Oil.

8. Once the oil is heated, add in the peeled potatoes and fry till they turn golden brown in colour.

9. Remove potatoes once fried and then add eggs to the hot oil.

10. Now for the gravy: Slice onions and add it to oil on high flame.

11. Once the onions have turned translucent, add the marinaded meat.

12. Saute for 3-4 minutes on high flame.

13. Add tomatoes, fried potatoes, Sugar and the spice mix to the frying pan and mix well.

14. Add 1 cup of water, cover the frying pan and allow the meat to cook until it is well done.

15. After roughly 40-45 minutes, check if the gravy is done and add the eggs to the frying pan. Cook for a few minutes on high flame.

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