The Fall season is upon us, gently she tiptoed in at the heels of Summer turning the air crispy and sending the leaves flying in the breeze, yet how sweetly she colors the leaves each one a magnificent proof that the Creator indeed was an artist to begin with.
Wanting to make a spicy soup to chase away the cold, my kid came home with after his “Back to school ” week, I browsed through the web for a spicy South Indian soup recipe, nothing like comfort food from home on a cold crispy Fall evening, that’s when my eyes fell on this ‘Hyderabadi Marag’ recipe. The land I grew up in had a similar version called the “Attu Kaal soup” a remedy for common cold to rejuvenating one’s energy during pregnancy to bringing the color back into the cheeks of the malnourished elderly, it was a one soup fits all kind. It was delicious , aromatic & packed a punch. Needless to say I ached for tasting something similar , hence in an adventurous mood to experiment tried this new recipe from the neighboring state, called the ‘Hyderabadi Marag ‘.
It is my understanding that this soup is served as part of the wedding platter and is the most sought after dish at weddings in the city of Hyderabad, a south Indian city in the state of Andra Pradesh. It is made of tender mutton ( in South India, mutton refers to goat meat, unlike lamb elsewhere) cooked in a spicy broth. Originally thought to have been introduced by the Arabs, travelled to South India to find a home among it’s spicy cuisines. It is a lip smacking, aromatic, perfect soup for a Fall weekend supper….. on those evening when you want to keep cozy and warm !
Tender mutton ( goat ribs ) attached to bones – 2 pounds.
Oil – 2tbsp
Cinnamon stick – 2″
Cloves – 5-6
Green Cardamoms – 3-4
Black pepper corns – 2 tbsp
Onions ( big ) – 3 finely sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1tbsp
Green chillies – 6-8 slit lengthwise
Salt- to taste
Paste For The Soup
Cashew nuts- 6-8
Almonds – 5-6
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 1/2 bunch
Mint Leaves- 7-8
Garam masala powder – 1tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander seed powder (roasted) – 1tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder- 1tsp
Coconut milk – 1 can
1. Warm oil in a pressure cooker, to this add the spices one by one until the aroma fills the air.
2.Now add the finely sliced onions and green chilies and saute till they turn transparent. To this add the ginger garlic paste & turmeric powder & continue to saute.
3.Gently add the cleaned and cut mutton pieces to the onions green chillie mix and stir it till you see the pieces turn into a darker red color. Now add salt to it & continue to stir.
4.Now to the above add the blended paste of cashews, almond, mint & cilantro leaves and continue to stir until the raw smell disappears
5.Add all the remaining spice powders one by one while continuing to mix the ingredients well, thus coating the mutton pieces.
6.Continue to stir until the oil separates from the sides of the cooker, letting us know the mutton is partially cooked. To this add 1 or 2 cups of water, depending on the consistency of the soup you want, either watery or thicker.
7.Cover the cooker with a lid and allow 3-4 whistles , so the mutton is well cooked and is soft & leaves the bones easily when eaten with the soup.
8.Open the lid after the steam escapes & to this add the canned coconut milk & stir well. At this point one might add whole milk or cream along with the coconut milk depending on one’s preference ( I did not add either & only stuck with coconut milk since i preferred my soup watery, it still turned delicious !) Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat source.
9.Serve hot in a bowl, or mix it with a little brown rice to serve as soup or can also be had as a dip for Indian breads like Naan or roti. Enjoy!
Let the Fall cooking begin, aromas reaching friendly neighbors warming hearts & homes during the crispy cold days that are to follow. May our tired spirits be refreshed by the aroma of the spices !
For some of my other soup recipes, please check the links below :
Broccoli Cheese Soup :
Spinach Cream Soup