I guess I can afford to get a bit emotional today. Being a working mother is something that many woman crave to be. I guess I will say – to be a working woman. Being a working woman is quite easy, as far as I am concerned. I’ve been in that situation for three years, managing work, home and studies, thanks to the help of a supportive HD and have enjoyed that phase completely. Working when you are a couple gives you a lot of freedom and enjoyment. After work times were always the best – long drives, coffee chats, dinner from outside, etc. But once I graduated from the phase of a working woman to a working mother, a lot of things changed. My priorities changed, my responsibilities changed, my insight on a lot of things changed with the arrival of my first bundle of joy. Rasha was lucky enough to have her grandmother – my umma – to look after her all the time, or should I say I was lucky enough to have her close to me so that I could continue enjoying the benefits of working? I guess it is more of the second than the first. Once my second bundle of joy, Azza arrived, a lot more changes came in. My umma became more frequent in her trips back home and I had to resort to having somebody home to take care of my children. It is not that I kept my maternal instincts at bay – I had reached a stage where I almost resigned from my job but many God-sent support came in and I was able to sustain and continue on till now. Alhamdulillah, my children have reached a stage where they happily accept that their ummi is a working lady and adjust to their schedules of the daytime just like I want them to be.
Why did I write all this? Yesterday, after almost two weeks, I reached home on time without much traffic. Both of them were so glad to see me picking them up earlier and their faces showed the joy. I was quite tired and was not willing to put in too much time with them. Yet, Rasha went ahead, pulled out her books and started reading from it and Azza was sticking around to see if I was OK. At night, Rasha reminded me, “Ummi, please try to come the same time tomorrow as you came in today.” I replied, “Yes darling, InShaAllah… do pray to Allah that there will be no traffic for ummi to bear tomorrow.” She responded with a smile. As I slid into the bed with Azza in tow, she noticed my face was unusually grumpy. Immediately, she pulled my lips with both her hands and said, “Ummi chichu!”. If I translate that into Malayalam, she said “Ummi chirikku”, which means “Ummi, smile!” I couldn’t help but curve my lips! I’m blessed, Alhamdulillah, with two understanding girls… Alhamdulillah… :’)
I guess I can stop being emotional and get to the point. Going to today’s recipe, I am sharing with you a nice spicy mutton curry that you cannot finish off without licking your plate. More than the red chilli, the black pepper gives the kick and I always feel that black pepper and mutton make a fantastic combination, anytime! Off to the recipe…
- 500 gm mutton
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 3 meduim onions, minced
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- ¾ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 small pac (70 gm) tomato paste
- 2 heaped tbsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp black pepper powder
- 1 cup thin coconut milk
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- Salt to taste
- Curry leaves for garnish
- Clean the mutton and leave to drain.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Splutter the fennel seeds.
- Add in the onions and saute with a pinch of salt till soft.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes till the raw smell is gone.
- Add in the tomato and tomato paste and cook till the tomato gets mashed.
- Now add in the coriander, turmeric, chilli and pepper powders and saute till the coriander gets a dark shade.
- Add in the coconut milk and mutton, close the lid of the cooker and cook till the mutton is done. Normally I cook for three whistles on high and leave for 15 minutes on low flame, and then allow the pressure to go on its own.
- Open the lid of the pressure cooker, sprinkle in the garam masala. Adjust the salt and add curry leaves finally.
- Serve warm with rice, chapathis, or even bread!