What is it about Bengalis and their must-have dish, mutton curry, on Sunday?
As I type this, I have mutton and potatoes cooking inside a pressure cooker, delicious aroma wafting into my living room from the kitchen, to remind me that I need to turn the gas off after a couple of minutes. And it’s a Sunday.
There goes the warning whistle.
They say it’s tradition. I find that odd as I’ve never been particularly traditional. Yet I find myself craving mangsho every Sunday. My family isn’t very traditional either. Though my ancestry dates back some three hundred years in West Bengal. My father left home when he was twenty to be a mariner. He loved the seas and was hardly ever seen shopping for groceries on a Sunday morning like most traditional Bengali men. My mother cooked only when she had to, though she was happiest with a book in her hands, not a ladle.
Yet, oddities aside, every Sunday we ate meat curry for lunch.
I’m grown up now. At least I hope so. I don’t live in Kolkata anymore. I couldn’t be further away from it, enconsced in the heart of dusty Jat Land. Yet every Sunday morning, there’s that all-too-familiar gnawing in my stomach.
I buy the meat myself. The husband does NOT go shopping with a tholey (cloth shopping bag – I’ve always hated the ghastly things) though he would oblige if I asked him to. My meat is home delivered. The friendly neighbourhood butcher knows the cuts of meat that I like. I wash and cook the mutton myself, potatoes fried golden brown, chunks of meat marinated and cooked in a fiery amber gravy before being tossed into the cooker with the potatoes to sizzle in their own juices.
The cholesterol scare keeps us away from the dish every now and then but it’s back on our table sooner or later. Always on a Sunday though.
There goes the whistle. I’d better go. My meat is cooked.
What’s your Sunday meat story?