mostly about food and cooking, but also the stories about the Bread and the Butterflies!

Mutsch: Kashmiri Meatballs

In Kashmiri, Traditions and Customs on March 17, 2007 at 9:06 pm

mutch_wm.jpg
Naani’s much talked-about mutsch!

It’s time we talked Kashmiri food. Kashmiri cuisine derives its unique flavouring from regular Indian spices used somewhat differently. Fennel and ginger powder are used in most of the preparations. The colouring is important to the presentation; turmeric for yellow curries, and red chillies for the red ones, and there are the white curries that derive their colour from the use of milk and yoghurt. The word ‘curry’, incidentally, is not a part of our vocabulary.

An interesting feature of Kashmiri Hindus is the complete lack of caste hierarchy. That’s correct – we are all Brahmins. Garlic and onions may have been taboo, but please give us our daily serving of meat. :)

mutsch

Just like the Bengali Brahmins we salivate over our fish and goat-meat, cook everything in the wonderfully fragrant mustard oil, favour rice, and worship mother Goddesses with fervour. And like them, we also have the loochi, maida pooris fried in mustard oil. Oooh, they taste super with Kahva, and are intertwined with my memories of visits to the Kheer Bhavani shrine, many kilometers outside of Srinagar city. A tiny temple inside a water tank (a natural spring), it sits in a large paved area shaded by giant Chinar trees (Oriental Plane trees). A typical visit to the temple would involve an early morning rise, a head-bath (this is Indianese for washing hair as part of the bathing process; most of us women keep long hair, or used to, and daily shampooing is neither practical nor necessary), trekking to the bus-adda to take the bus into the countryside. The mothers, grandmothers and aunts would have gotten up even earlier to prepare a packed lunch of rajma, dum aloo, and such delicacies, to be had later under those magnificent Chinars in true picnic fashion.

The bus would wind through the most beautiful (the word – beautiful – being very inadequate here) landscape of paddy fields and rustling (Lombardy) Poplars. There is hardly a stretch on that picturesque narrow road where you are too far from a brook or a stream to not hear its gurgle. The droopy willows by the brooks add to the idyllic picture.

It is a longish walk from the roadside bus stop to the temple area. A little stream flows by the entry to the temple area. The men head to the ghat by the stream for a dip into the icy cold waters. The women enter an enclosed part of the ghat on the other side to do the same. Not being too sold on public nudity, even in women-only situations, I and my younger sister have passed on this ‘cleansing’ ever since we could say an emphatic NO. Did I mention that the water is ice-cold? We were happy to wet our feet and splash our faces.

Then a walk to those little shops on the periphery of the compound to deposit the footwear and collect the puja samagri from the guy who would later also provide the loochi and kahva. The puja involved the pujari reciting prayers and mantras in his inimitable Kashmiri rhythm and us dumping the offerings into the tank in a certain order at the ‘swaha’ cue. We would then hurry back, the early morning breakfast long digested, for the mouth watering oil soaked loochies to be washed down with the best kahva.

If some of you are still with me, as I took this longwinded and unplanned trip to the Kheer Bhavani shrine (the loochi is so strongly tied to the shrine in my memory that I cannot say the word loochi and not think Kheer Bhavani), let me tell you this post was going to be about mutsch, the Kashmiri meat balls (if there ever was a misnomer). I probably shouldn’t be discussing the two together, since the Goddess is vegetarian.

But let us get back to a promise I made while enumerating the Five Things to Eat Before You Die. It has taken this long because I was perfecting the recipe. As you probably know by now, my mother tends to keep a few ingredients or steps to herself. And I couldn’t have posted a recipe I knew would not produce the results I promised. So she let out one thing, then another, then I tested in my kitchen, and then tested it one more time to be doubly sure.

A few of the ingredients keep it from being traditionally authentic Pandit. But I am not going to mess with that – not after hearing it again and again, “It’s not quite like Naani’s…” So the dhaniya powder stays; as does the single clove of garlic. That’s how Anu’s Naani, my mother, makes it. And these are the best ever; even better than the waza’s.

Mutsch, is made with minced meat of goat (mutton). I have tried it with beef in the US. Not good. I am not sure if even lamb is very suitable. The key difference in our meat is that it is very lean. Even after the long simmer and refrigeration, I find no solidified fat on my mutsch. My mother has used ground turkey with exceptional results. At the butcher’s, don’t settle for the ready mince. For best results have him prepare and de-bone a cut of raan (thigh) or shoulder for the keema (mince).

Even though I am calling them meatballs – these are never shaped into balls. Not for mutsch. Goshtaba is a true meat ball, as is rishta. Shapes define a dish very strongly. Vegetables are cut in different shapes for different preparations, and these cannot be changed. It would just seem wrong if you put cylindrical cuts of nadru in fish, or bias cuts into yakhni :) . Stick with the instructions, if you want your Mutsch to be ‘just like Naani’s!’

The dish belies the simplicity of the preparation. It totally rests on the spices – no onions or tomatoes, ever, in traditional Kashmiri Pandit cuisine. And I love it for that – so quick. No onion-garlic-paste or fine-chop-anything, and no-bhunno-till-oil-separates whatsoever. A Punjabi friend, married to a Kashmiri, once remarked that Kashmiris just quarter any vegetable and it’s done! That’s not true: sometimes we also leave them whole! We have our reasons.

mutsch

Mutsch
Kashmiri Meatballs in a Spicy Gravy

For the mutschgand (meatballs)
500gms minced mutton (or ground turkey)
1 heaped T Kashmiri chilli powder
1 ½ heaped T saunf (fennel) powder
1 t sonth (dry ginger powder)
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cloves
2 black cardamoms
1 t Kashmiri garam masala (you may substitute home made Punjabi kind; see note below)
salt
3-5 T mustard oil (don’t believe my mother when she says she makes it in just 3 T of oil!)

For the gravy
2 cloves
2 black cardamoms
1 bayleaf (Indian ones are 3-4” long)
1 T mustard oil
1 T Kashmiri chilli powder
1 heaped T dhaniya(coriander) powder (optional)
1 heaped t sonth
2 heaped T saunf

To make mutschgand:
Place the ground mutton in a bowl. Powder the cloves and the black cardamom (keep the outer husk aside) and add to the mince.

mutsch

mutsch-02_wm.jpg

And the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pinch off small portions, and shape into sausages using a gentle squeeze and toss movement of your working hand. The mutschgand should be about 2 ½- 3″ long and a half inch or so thick. Do not roll between the palms of your hands. Place the prepared mutschgand on a plate or thali. Let rest for 20-30 min.

mutsch

Do not reduce the oil to less than 3 T (unless using fatty meat). Been there. Since the meat is lean, it needs the oil to keep the meat balls soft and succulent. Remember, we are not frying these. And do not add any egg-shegg either. Stick with the recipe.

Meanwhile prepare the gravy:
In a heavy flat bottomed pan heat some oil (1-2 T). When it gets to smoking add the cloves and the bayleaf, dhaniya, saunf, and sonth powders, in that order. Keep a cup of water handy as you add the red chilli powder. Stir quickly to roast/fry the spices and then add water. Red chillies can burn quickly in hot oil, so take care to prevent this. Add another cup or cup and a half of water. Bring to a boil.

mutsch

mutsch

Grind the black cardamoms and add to the pan with the husk from the two used for the mutschgand. Turn the heat to medium and gently lower the mutschgand into the pan, shaking the pan with your other hand to nudge them around and ensure they are immersed. Do not use any implement; just a gentle shake of the pan will help them roll about. Add additional salt if you think necessary. Cover and let simmer for 30-40 minutes. The gravy will have reduced by a third and the meat will be done. The mutschgand tend to shrink in length and thicken in the middle as they cook. Sprinkle a half teaspoon of Kashmiri garam masala and mix.

Serve with warm steamed rice or paranthas. This is really good the next day. For a special mealtime, cook at least 12 hours ahead.

mutsch

Notes:
If you don’t have Kashmiri garam masala: pound together one black cardamom, half inch piece of cinnamon, and 3 cloves, and use.
Try to procure your spice powders from the spicewala. If you must make it at home, grind each spice to a fine powder. The spices thicken the gravy, and unless they are powdered fine, the gravy may have a gritty texture.
Kashmiri chilli powder is mild but imparts a very bright colour. If you want a milder version, reduce chilli as desired. Add powdered maval (cock’scomb) flowers so that the colour of the dish is not compromised. Wazas (professional Kashmiri cooks) often do this.
This dish does not use any turmeric. Red chillies and turmeric are rarely used together in Kashmiri cooking.

And Warnings:
1. Beware that some selfishness in the family may surface when you get to the last two pieces. That is how it must be. Read about it here.
2. If you ever serve it to guests, they may offer to delay their return trip. I served it to visiting friends on their last day with us (the famous VOF trip). Prasad was willing to change his travel plans if I promised to cook mutsch again the next day! Yes, I had served mutsch prepared by my mom.

Tags: Kashmiri, Kashmiri meatballs, mutsch, keema

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  1. Your best post so far – if I may say so – talking about one’s own culture probably brings out the best! Though im no meat eater, I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed your post. Just ‘thoroughly’ would be inadequate :)

    But I must get hold of fennel powder and ginger powder so that I may try some Kashmiri vegetarian food…recipes courtesy YOU ofcourse!

    Thanks, N. :) And yes, some great vegetarian fare to follow. Meanwhile you may try the al yakhni!

  2. Anita. This was a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading about your culture. What I salivated over were those meatballs and although I do not eat mutton very often I think I will try these with other types of ground meat.

    Hi Meeta. I was happy to share memories I didn’t know I had so vivid! This recipe is grrreat with ground turkey.

  3. Wooohoooo! Begging and groveling does work!! As do constant reminders! :D Yay! Have a tray of ground turkey. Need to get mustard oil and black cardamom. Will make tonight or tomorrow.

    Do you have any pictures of the Kheer Bhavani shrine? I love this post!

    Hugs galore to you!

    Yes, Manisha. This is especially for you! But it almost didn’t get done…again! I deleted most of those step-by-step pictures before I could download them. But TH came to the rescue and made the pictures return from nowhere. He is good at these things; just don’t ask him to help in the kitchen (though he’s actually good at that too!).

    Click on the link in the post for a picture of the shrine. It shows just a hint of the trees…most pictures I found were closeups of the tiny shrine – none showed the area around.

  4. what a lovely post!! enjoyed reading it…

    Thanks, Liz. And the appreciation makes it worth the effort!

  5. Great post :). and i say this even though i am a vegetarian! the nostalgia, the lil’ banter about Mom…..also, enjoyed reading your comments on Jugalbandi blog’s Haakh post. Now, i have to think on how to make a vegetarian equivalent of this :). again, it will be non-traditional-but well, this features on Anita ji’s list of Five Must Have Dishes-so its a Have To :)).

    Yup Manisha, begging does work :)).

    Hey there, Musical! Thank you very much. To think I almost cut out the entire first half (the sidetrack to Kheer Bhavani)! Then I had TH read it and he thought it was fine as is…
    Vegetarian equivalent…maybe nutrinuggests mixed with some besan?? But do not despair, I salivate as much over our vegetarian fare…coming soon… :)

  6. anita’s back to form. :-))

    Thanks Bee. Let’s hope I stick with the form! :)

  7. you should write a book, gal. you write so so well.

    But The Learned One (TLO, henceforth) :) , over at Dining Hall, says that alone is not enough! I will also need some green-stuff (ours is actually multi-‘coloured’ like us!), a publisher, and someone to market it. And of course, a market! :)

    But if you guys keep saying it often enough, I just might believe it! So, please go on (reading)!

  8. Hi Anita ji, i thought about the nutri-besan mix too, and also about the shredded mushroom, besan mix. Useful tip-will try and let you know for sure :). i am having a great going through this post again and again.

    I think the mushroom would be a great substitute – better texture and nice flavour too. I want to try this myself – for the vegetarian hubby, and FIL.

  9. So…the mutsch is simmering on the stove.

    The muschgand by themselves are terrific. I did a taste test for salt (some muschgand+water in the microwave for 30 seconds). Yum! My Kashmiri red chilli is not all that colorful, for some reason. I adulterated it with Spanish Paprika for the color. The sauce is very fragrant and the whole house is smelling really good!

    I will need to make this again. My tray of ground turkey was 40z – over 1kg. So I doubled mostly everything except the mustard oil in the muschgand. It was by oversight cos at that point I forgot I had twice the amount of meat. But so far, the muschgand are doing just fine and have not disintegrated nor are they like leather.

    Now for a couple of questions:
    – why not roll the meat between palms?
    – is there a brand of Kashmiri garam masala that you recommend? My Indian grocer said he knew of none. I used the blend you suggested instead.

    I haven’t taken any pictures yet. Will probably take some of the final dish.

    So, you used mustard oil!! Good! Makes a subtle undertone – after cooking it does not overpower at all, and definitely helps with the colour as well I feel. With mutton, I have found that less than 3 T for about half kilo of mince, makes the mutschgand less soft; maybe turkey meat is more succulent.

    Just from that wonderful smell, my son’s eyes light up and he doesn’t need to ask, “What are we having for dinner?”

    I think the ‘sausages’ will be difficult to roll between the palms – they might break…the ‘squeeze’ motion must surely help, and there is no binding agent really. I’m always impressed that they don’t disintegrate.

    You won’t find packaged Kashmiri garam masala. And I never make more than a tablespoonful at a time – the fragrance dips sharply as it sits. Mine includes a bit of bayleaf in addition to the three ingredients I have mentioned. I’ll confirm with Mom and get back!

  10. I over ate. Do I need to say anything more? :-D

    Well done! That is also as it must be!

  11. WOW Manisha has already made them????????? Looks like she’s been waiting for you to be out with your mom’s secret recipe…Now im really jealous, please provide us veggies with a vegetarian meatballs recipe…JALDIIII

    I think I am going to try with nutri-nuggets+besan or, as Musical suggested, with mushrooms…

  12. I just got my butcher to make me goat kheema from the leg I was getting and I was wondering what to make with it and here is ur recipe. wonderful!I will be trying this.

    The perfect meat! You are going to love it!

  13. Anita ji,

    Navreh Mubarak to you and family :).

    Thank you. And the same to you too? I made Kheer! Yum.
    PS: drop the ‘ji’, makes me feel old. :) I’m not old, just older (than you)!

  14. You can always e-publish yourself on lulu.com or iuniverse.com. It’s marketing and distribution that are the toughest part.

    Happy Navreh to you! Is that said just like the plural of husbands in Marathi? I am sure I am murdering mutsch when I say it, too. Which is why the question.

    Shaheen, you are SO lucky! Not only do you get goat meat, your butcher will make ground meat for you!

    I sneaked some mutsch for a quasi-lunch and you’re right, it tastes even better the next day. The sauce had kind of solidified, like a coconut curry does, which was interesting. I was planning to serve it with rice for dinner but we had to go to a puja followed by diinner (no onion-no garlic but delicious nevertheless). There were women there who were talking about how they made their husbands quit eating egg the day they got married and how they told their husbands that they could not enter the house if they had eaten an egg. I said not a word about what I had had for breakfast and for lunch.

    The conversation then veered to being ‘Brahman’ and being vegetarian. Needless to say, I didn’t tell them about my Kashmiri friend. Nor of my own roots. :-D At times like this, I so want to go sit with the guys…

    Yes, Navreh is spoken just as you have guessed!

    Now mutsch – let me try. ‘Ma’ as the letter in Hindi/Marathi alphabet (that is, not the long ‘a’ sound). Then there is a ‘cha’ with a dot (if we could have it!) that would be similar to ‘ja’ with the dot becoming ‘za’. I think I got it – it is like ‘cha’ in the word ‘chor’ as spoken in Marathi! ma-cha-. Then a small hissing ‘s’ sound somewhere with a ‘chh’ that is like the sound made when one sneezes!! There you have it – mutsch! :) Got it? Good! :)

    This was way more fun than you can imagine! LOL :)

    And it is because of wives like those that you find hoards of husbands eating by the roadside, all by themselves – boiled eggs, egg kathi-rolls, kebab rolls, biryani…poor souls! And I think, “Jain, maybe?” I know one Jain guy who was going on and on about the strict dietary regulations at home as he helped himself to some more sliced onions from the salad! “Oh, that? We are very strict at home, I mean.” Whatever, dude.

    Brahman-shrahman. They forget Vedic Indians used to eat beef! Some of us have stayed more in touch with our ancestors! :)

  15. That dish sure does look yummy and tasty!And you are right they don’t remotely look like meatballs, sausages maybe.

    Hopefully, I get eat this dish someday :-)

    Kamla

    I look forward to it!

  16. […] March 22nd, 2007 at 11:57 pm (Thalia)   This an adaptation of a wonderful recipe for Kashmiri Meatballs (Mutsch) posted by Anita of A Mad Tea Party; the original may be found here. […]

  17. i tried these this week and anita, they were really good. thanks a lot.

    You did get the perfect meat for it!

  18. Hi Anita,

    I really ,really enjoyed reading this post !
    And I sympathise totally with Manisha… some women fuss so much about even a bit of garlic in the food and that too at a hotel. Feel like reminding them that Hitler was the only human being with no “bad” habits !

    Hi Kamala. Hearing from you after a long time!

  19. Now that this post has been successfully and completely hijacked, do I have your permission to tell my French Onion Soup story? :-D

    Here, or on the newer post? (You’re asking permission? That’s new) ;) What the…Let’s hear it!

  20. Manisha, your permission bit had me ROTFL. Yeah, that is something new.
    It is hard to stay away from your fights err,I mean banter when I’m subscribed to this mad party’s comments feeds.
    Anita has given you the go-ahead, so please tell your story already!

  21. After my April Fool’s post, I ran the risk of being called stale and predictable. I had to do some serious damage control and it’s best to do it on Anita’s blog, since all her comment are belong to us.

    So, there is this wonderful restaurant in Estes Park, at 8k ft, with a view of the mountains and the most fantastic sandwiches in Colorado. We were about 10 of us and 3 of the women were staunch religious vegetarians. The waitress was a young Russian girl here only for the summer and had probably never met vegetarians before. When they asked her if the patty in the burger could be replaced with a veggie patty, she went to ask and returned saying yes. Then she asked them if they would like it well done, medium or rare. That freaked them out so they sent her in to find out whether the patty was really veggie and if it was a garden patty or a soy patty. She went back to the kitchen and came back saying it was soy and did they want it well done, medium or rare! So I stepped in and told her well done to prevent it from turning into another trip to the kitchen.

    Then Medha had to bless the restroom so I had to go. They are not new to this country so I figured they’d be fine. They all wanted soup and French Onion Soup (FOS) sounded vegetarian to them. Apparently, the Russian girl went back to the kitchen and confirmed that there was no meat in the FOS. By the time I came back to the table, there was this delicious soup – it’s the best I’ve had – that these women were digging into. They were oohing and aahing about just how fantastic it was. Since D had also ordered some, I tasted it and I almost choked. That soup definitely had beef stock in it! The look on my face told D all he needed to know and then I was pinched and kicked from under the table, so I kept quiet. What else could I do? It was dharma-bhrasta (sp?) or something similar.

    These women have not stopped raving about that soup. When we talk, they remember the time we spent together and the best soup they have ever had. The soup with beef stock in it.

    One of these women is so fastidious that she does not allow eggs to be brought into her home. Her daughter came home with painted Easter eggs. She thought they were fake till her daughter started shelling them. She threw them out and did some major puja. Her husband loves egg curry. He’d ask me to make it in winter, take all the leftovers, leave them in his trunk and take it to work the next day.

    I really don’t know how to deal with situations like this. It is very difficult to be a strict vegetarian in this country and more so when the choice is based on religious beliefs. I think it’s better to keep quiet because what they don’t know can’t hurt them besides they’d already had half the bowl by the time I returned to the table. But I did feel a little guilty – like an accomplice almost.

    There’s no talking to these women about a ‘what if’ situation. Am I a bad person because I haven’t told them? But then there are so many foods that they have been eating without a second thought that contain meat products eg refried beans that have lard, packaged donut holes that contained beef extract and so on. What would you have done?

  22. You are a bad bad girl…but I doubt that you’re feeling bad about that!

    I would’ve done the same in this situation…or, if I wanted to be really bad, I might have told them they just ate some beef! :)What a scene to follow! They would have needed some major penance.

    Personally, I’m not so fastidous. Logically, where is the point in sparing the cow and eating the poor goat? They were both created lovingly by the same Goddess. :)

    In Rome, do as Romans do…or lose out on an interesting part of the culture where you are. The best is when people will not eat egg (because of beliefs) but relent when it comes to cakes and pastries! Whatever. and what about the cheese?? Do they know? You must tell them; it is your sacred duty, your repentance. :)

    The taboos were built into a culture to prevent over-indulgence and teach moderation. That is how I look at it.

  23. They do eat cakes and pastries, cheese and jello. :!:

    So, as your repentance, you must send them a mail today (since you are buddy-buddy with them) with links to rennet and its source, and gelatin and its source! And gelatin is used not just for jello! Marshmallows, capsules…. :) Let them make an informed choice.

    In comparison, I think it will be okay to consider silver foil as ‘vegetarian’ since it is only beaten between sheets of leather; the animal skin only touches it, doesn’t get incorporated into it. I remember reading about it in a blog and how horrified some had been to discover that.

  24. I would have told them too, sat back and enjoyed the look on their faces. Interesting what people do. A girl in school once told me that her mom made her wash her mouth and tongue with soap because she had eaten chicken on a non-meat eating day (a Tuesday or some such thing)from another girl’s lunch box.
    But seriously, I do not know how to deal with such situations either.

  25. No way I can tell them or could have told them then. For one, they were all staying with me. I didn’t want any wailing women! When it comes to staunch beliefs, it’s very difficult to rationalize the situation and therefore it’s better to seek refuge in what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

    On a serious note, I found a whole section on vegetarianism in India in Achaya’s Indian Food, a Historical Companion. And it was the Aryans who first started questioning the eating of meat. By the Harappan era, there was a wide variety of vegetables available. The cow became taboo first for economical reasons: gave milk, pulled carts, gave dung and so on. Then because the lazy Brahmins started having problems digesting the meat. Then as Buddhism and Jainism spread, meat eating became more and more taboo. Then it slowly found its way into the scriptures.

    69% of Gujarat is vegetarian followed by 60% of Rajasthan (where my visitors were from) – based on census figures. I didn’t see a reference to a year though. I read it in a hurry and need to sit with it again.

    It would be interesting to know the flip side to this. If you were vegetarian, would you want to know if you had just eaten something that contained meat or meat broth. Or would you prefer to just not know.

    Definitely not while/if they were living with you! I wouldn’t want wailing women requiring all kinds of purification penance on my hands either. :)

    But you could tell them now that you have since found out that a lot of meat-less soups are not kosher for Indian vegetarians…it should be worth some fun?! And do, please, tell them about rennet and gelatin, and Thai food too, if they have some fav Thai soups…You would want them to know before their next bowl of French Onion soup?

    That ‘holy cow’ reasoning is very plausible. Whenever a society recognizes the importance of a resource, we make efforts to protect it – wildlife sanctuaries, protected wilderness areas, total or partial ban on hunting, are all similar efforts. There was more to be gained by protecting the cow than by killing it. And the fear-of-God kept you from killing your neighbour’s cow!

  26. Hi anita,

    Yes, my son had his CBSE board exams. So I was out of circulation for a while. More so coz my home computer was down!

    My son’s done with his X Boards as well!

  27. I would definately want to know..but not if I was in the company of fussy people who make it a point to ask you if you are veg or non-veg at the very first meeting !
    For example , my mom was a strict veg and tried to bring us up that way (and failed if I may add!). But even so, we somehow were conditioned to the fact that mammals are not to be harmed esp cows (religious interference again!). When my friend’s mother slipped it onto our plates and told us after we had eaten, I remember feeling very hurt asthis was intentional, unlike Manisha’s situation.
    I wouldn’t tom-tom the fact that I don’t eat something ,(you see ,there are people who do it for effect !).. but it feels good to know.

    What do you say ?

    Yes, I’d like to know – before putting it in my mouth. If someone has already done and they shouldn’t have (for whatever reasons) then what-you-don’t-know-can’t-hurt applies.

    The only time I will not tell beforehand (mostly with vegetables) is when I already know that they have tried it but just don’t like the taste.

  28. […] tsp Kashmiri garam masala (scroll down towards the bottom of the […]

  29. […] poories, aloo paranthas, biryani, or just plain roti-subzi, he eats only till he is full. He loves mutsch but you cannot make him overeat. I did do something right […]

  30. I came across your blog while hunting for recipes, and started drooling when I noticed Kashmiri recipes. I’m from the other part of fish-mutton-mustard oil-loochi-loving part of India (I’m surprised it’s also called loochi in Kashmir) and I have once been to a Kashmiri wedding … never been to Kashmir, but I am sure if the food is like that Jehangir’s “firdous baroe zameen” isn’t surprising at all.
    I am however really disappointed that this is the only Kashmiri meat recipe on here (at least the only one I could find). It would be great to have a few more… preferably something one could substitute with lamb or beef.

    Ah…Bengal! Yes, I must fix this big non-vegetarian gap. Non-veg happens less often in this half-vegetarian family. But still, not so infrequently as the blog suggests. :D So, look out for some mutton recipes soon.

  31. My Goodness! You are just so exceptional!!

    Why, thanks, Ansh! :lol:

  32. SLURP!! This sounds just so great. I can safely say I’m happy; better late , than never. Makes me feel like getting it on the fire immediately. Have bookmarked it for my next special dish! Have noted the ‘warning’ on the last 2 pieces too!! :0)

  33. Reading this post, I had tears in my eyes of mixed feeling of amusement and sorrow, especially reading the quote “It’s not quite like Naani’s”, because my Nani would send musch cooked for me from Jammu to Delhi knowing how much I liked it especially when cooked by her.I guess its a coincidence that I read your article exactly a year after she passed away.Not only that but because in my more younger days, I made my mom’s life miserable everytime telling her “Bhabhi hish musch kar hechakh che banaviny”

    God bless you for this wonderful blog!!!

    I am happy the post touched a chord…Nanis are always better cooks, experience is on their side! Isn’t it great when grandparents are indulgent? She will always live on in your memories.
    Last week I made these again, and yet scored only 8.5/10 with my son – another ten years and I should be there.
    :lol:

  34. Well…this past week I came across some ground lamb, but not goat yet, and decided to give your recipe a try…

    Yes, and? :D

  35. yes? And…

    I am echoing the same…

  36. My lanta! How did you two get here so darned quick?! I barely had time to clean up the kitchen and try to work this here blasted camera-thingy. I just might have to sit down and read the manual one of these days…but I tell ya, I’d have more time to do that if it would stop snowing for a few days- this shoveling is for the birds! How is it that your mutschgand don’t have no lumps like mine? They’re so smooth- you sure you just used one hand to roll ‘em? It woulda been so much more easier to roll ‘em like meatballs…

  37. […] easy to sway my son from his Kashmiri leanings where meat is concerned (especially when compared to mutsch and rogan josh, he usually concludes anything else to have been a waste of the meat ), but he […]

  38. Anita Di,

    I made mutsch with ground turkey!! and I did not add any egg shegg :d

    I love you for posting this recipe!! Hugs!
    ;-) You will be rewarded if you stick with the recipe!

  39. Hmmm, cooking this right now – I did have some doubts, how can a meat dish taste good with so few ingredients… but right niw the smell is to die for and I can’t wait to dig right into my dinner. Tastes better the next day? I don’t think I will find that out.
    BTW, I thought we Bengali’s were the only ones to use mustard oil for cooking.

    Tastes twice as good the next day!
    Bengalis, Kashmiri, Punjabis…we all share the love of mustard oil.

  40. Oh gawd! Meat can totally taste good with very few ingredients. This mutsch I know.
    :-D

    You are too mutsch!

  41. Anita! I’ve been salivating for ages over this post, had the ground turkey in my freezer for over a month, and finally got around to making mutsch today. Its the second time I’ve cooked something from your blog (the first was station bhaji) and I have the same “I-cannot-believe-how-gratifying-this-is-OMG-i’m-going-to-cry” reaction :)
    I had Kashmiri neighbours when I was little, and the smell of the mutsch gravy simmering on the stovetop totally took me back to the smells of their household. Thanks so much :)

    Moved you to tears now, did it? You will not be the first one! ;-) The kitchen fills up with the fantastic smell and it’s hard to wait till it’s done.

  42. Surprised to know that you eat beef as you have written that you have tried making mutsch with beef.As far as I know Kashmiri Pandit do not eat beef. Good luck with your recipe of mutsch.

    You are right Renu. But I don’t discriminate… :D

  43. […] we do have our revered vegetarian Goddess Kheer Bhavani (a prerequisite for visiting whose shrine is that we take a ‘head-bath’ to wash away the sins of meat consumption), we also have […]

  44. Was introduced to your blog today. What a pleasure!!!
    Your narrative is simply superb. Recepies are great. As a kashmiri you the way you wove the stories of birthdays, kheerbhavani etc bought back a lot of fond memories and above all Gramdma…her mustch teher chervan etc….Thank you. I will be checking your blog very frequently

  45. […] gathering.  It may seem repetitive to TH but we never tire of our rogan josh (curried mutton) or mutsch or kaliya or yakhni or haak or monjji or dum olu or panir or nadur (lotus stem) or palak […]

  46. […] one hand Kashmiri cuisine boasts some very spicy, fiery dishes like rogan josh, mutsch, and dum aloo, on the other, we have really tame ones like haak, monji-haak, and this one here […]

  47. Hey Anita..this reminds me of my Ma’s cooking, who I have been trying to call all morning for the recipe :) The pics took me instantly back to the many joyous shivratris and panns and just all that glorious food that pretty much summarizes my childhood for me :) I’ll be back…

    Rush

    rushaloud@blogspot.com

  48. […] already up and about (in his defense, it was 11:30 by then).  He brunched on rice and nani’s mutsch that I had carried with me.  Towards the evening we headed to Malpe beach in the hope that I would […]

  49. Thank you so much – this was such an informative post! This is the first time I have got a better understanding of Kashmiri food – please keep sharing these! Amazing how your food is similar to Bengali\Odiya cooking..wow!

    Thank you for reading!

  50. Hi, I discovered this recipe a few months ago and it has become a firm family favourite. My ancestors were from Kashmir and I am trying to reclaim the cuisine that has been lost over the generations. Thank you for a wonderful one. One question, I’m really unsure about how to pronounce the name,
    is it mutt as in butt or
    much as in as much as you want or
    mach as in machli (fish)?

    Thanks!

    None of the above! I have done the best transliteration I could!

  51. This post is very nice. Specially Kheer Bhawani and tales of Luchi. Mus or meat oblongs prep is also great …took me back to Habba Kadal where many a times my uncles used to grind Raan at home to get the perfect consistency. However what made me write this big comment was story about French Onion Soup.

    Was reading comments and there is mention of Vegetarians eating beef stock in US. Being Vegetarian myself I felt bad that they were not informed about same. When I was in US for an year I remember how tough it was. Soup stocks are almost always having animal fat, cookies, beans so many ready to eat or ready to microwave products are always having eggs, gluten or some animal fat. In fact Vegetables you order like stir fry they may be also fried in non vegetable based oils. In nutshell if there is no choice and u opt for some soup knowing about stock then it is okay.
    I remember once in a restra I ordered Paneer Pakoda and I was given Chicken Pakoda!!! I got my order replaced without any shor sharaba and went to restroom to spit out the chicken.

    In fact in TAJ banglore my cousin who was interning there told me even veg soups served there have chicken stock/ broth!!

    In situations like these better to tell people beforehand or later atleast, just to make them aware and let them make an informed choice. Once I was at a grill place with client where grills were being made on tawa like thing. I made choice to eat veg though Tawa for both Veg n non veg were same. But since I made informed choice I was not guilty of same.

    Again in a society where majority of people are Non vegetarians I see it a common practice of non- veg people to mock vegetarians. First they ask why vegetarian…then oh no choices…then why plants…then why grains…and it goes on…
    This happens in my family itself so it is quite irritating to justify about a choice we made for ourselves. It feels like majority dominating minority almost at all get togethers specially Kashmiri gatherings!!!

    Tolerance as well as freedom go hand in hand. Most of the Indians who are vegetarian or Vegans are because of religion. Then comes compassion for Animals. Again Hinduism is not having any particular book so beliefs vary. Vedas as explained by Max Muller have mention of beef and horse meat. But read same via Agniveer word to word translation you will find there is no mention of eating meat or sacrificing animals in history.

    But Hinduism is not just Vedas it is ever growing and changing religion and so people with varied thoughts n beliefs are there. As per Spritual Research foundation once human being chants and meditates for 8-9 hours per day, eating animals doesn’t decrease his spirituality.
    But Point is that beliefs about food run deep and as a host or friend it is best to keep other person’s point of view in mind.

    To each their own! We must respect others’ reasons and convictions just as we believe in ours. There may be chicken stock in vegetarian soups but as long as the consumer is informed, it is alright. It is getting easier for vegetarians to eat out now than ever before though.

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