Lahore’s Lakshmi Chowk Style Mutton Karahi
I really don’t know the history behind this famous karahi from Lahore’s Lakshmi chowk but it is a popular karahi spot for quite some time now and has branches at other cities as well under the banner of Butt Karahi. Like all other local specialties this one also has a special place in local foodies hearts. I am not claiming this to be an exact copy or a secret recipe of the franchise trademark. It is an attempt to replicate and create something that has a touch of familiar flavor.
Restaurant foods are generally 90% pre cooked and get finishing touch according to the customer’s requirements. This karahi follows the same pattern. At first, meat is fully cooked with just basic seasoning and later at second step it gets pan roasted along with other spices. It is the addition of few special ingredients being added at specific steps that gives each iconic dish it’s unique flavor and aroma. So for this recipe, first mutton is cooked with onion, tomatoes, salt, red chilli and garlic in water medium till meat is tender. Cooking duration will depend on meat cut and quality so please keep an eye and adjust water and cooking length accordingly.
While mutton gets tender, onion and tomato gets cooked well and helps in creating smooth gravy for this special karahi. Yes, in general, there is no onion in karahi but this one has it. I don’t use tomatoes and instead, there is puree in the recipe but you can add 3 medium size tomatoes, cut in halves, and cooked with meat and then remove the skin of tomatoes. It will blend in well during pan roasting and further cooking.
Second stage where karahi gets final touches involves pan roasting along with few spices. Pan roasting gives it this special taste and separates oil. Another interesting thing about this particular karahi is that there is butter, oil and ghee which gives richness and aroma to it. Butter and oil are added at the same point which helps butter retain it’s flavor otherwise it may burn and makes karahi a little bitter and blackish in appearance. There isn’t any special spice in it. In fact, very basic and everyday spices that we use in our everyday cooking are added which a very smart thing in my opinion. This way, the karahi has a comforting and homey vibe.
PS: You can easily make this with chicken while following the same procedure and reducing initial cooking time to 10-15 minutes.
Lahore's Lakshmi Chowk Style Mutton Karahi
This famous and local favorite karahi is very simple to make and super tasty!
- 850 gm mutton, medium size pieces, washed (I used puth/back chops)
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2½ tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 3-4 cups water (more or less)
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 tbsp desi ghee
- ½ cup unsweetened yogurt, slightly beaten
- 3-4 whole red chilles, optional
- 2-3 whole green chillies
- ginger slices for garnish
- fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- lemon slices for garnish
Combine meat, onion, tomato puree, slat, red chilli powder and garlic paste in a wok.
Add in water, cover with a lid and let cook over medium low flame till meat is fully tender, about 40-45 minutes. There must be about 1 cup (more or less) water left.
When meat is fully tender, uncover the wok and increase the flame to medium high.
Add in black pepper, coriander powder, butter and oil.
Pan roast for about 2-3 minutes or till oil separates.
Add in desi ghee, roast again.
Lower the flame and add in yogurt.
Roast again till there is smooth gravy.
Add in red chillies (optional) and green chillies.
Roast for a minute.
Garnish with ginger slices, lemon slices and coriander leaves.