Champaran meat is a famous one-pot dish of Bihar
Whenever you hear about Bihar, there is one cuisine that comes to your mind: Litti Chokha. But there is one more lip smacking dish called Champaran meat that can blow your mind. Also known as ahuna, handi meat, or batlohi, the dish has its roots in Champaran in Bihar, also famous for the first Satyagraha movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. It is believed that this pot dish originated in a village named Ghorasahan situated near the Indo-Nepal border in Purbi (east) Champaran. From there, it made its way to Champaran.
Ahuna is a Bhojpuri word which means earthenware pot or handi. The dish is made in a handi. Just like biryani, the Champaran meat is cooked in a handi and the mouth of the handi is sealed with dough. The dish is cooked slowly over charcoal in sealed pots. The meat is marinated in a mix of mustard oil and ghee. Other ingredients used for marination include onion, crushed ginger-garlic, whole garlic, whole green chilies, freshly made ground spices, coriander powder, fennel powder, cloves, bay leaf, turmeric, red chilli powder, which give a smoky taste to the dish.
Without stirring, the meat is cooked by shaking the whole pot without opening the seal till the meat becomes tender and succulent. There is no need to add water as the juices from the mutton along with the steam helps the meat to cook. The porous nature of the pot distributes the heat evenly, making the meat tender and flavourful.
For the ones who are a fan of chicken or fish, the meat can be replaced with these items. Vegetarians can try using cauliflower, soyabean or paneer and enjoy this lip-smacking dish.
The cooking time is generally longer. It takes approximately one hour for the mutton to cook but it is worth the wait.
A versatile dish, Champaran meat can be paired up with steamed rice, tawa roti, rice, litti, tandoori roti, poha, naan.
Tips to make dish more delightful
•Since the cooking time is long, it is good to use smaller or younger goat meat.
•For making Champaran meat, marination is the key. Make sure to marinate the mutton for two to three hours.
•The distinct flavour is partially attributed to mustard oil. Heat the oil till it reaches its smoking point and then cool it slightly before use.
•Using whole raw garlic gives the dish a rustic flavour.
•Using coriander leaves and green chillies for garnishing can impart freshness to the dish.
Recipe by famous chef Ranveer Brar
For Fried Onion
3 medium size Onion, slice
Oil for frying
2-3 Green chillies, slit into half
¼ cup fresh Mint leaves, roughly torn
1 ½ tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 ⅓ cups Curd, beaten
2-3 tbsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Degi red chilli powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Coriander leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp Fried onion oil
1 kg Mutton, curry cuts (with bone)
1 tbsp Ghee
¼ cup Fried Onion oil
2 Whole Garlic clove
For Handi Gosht
¼ cup Ghee
3-4 Dry red Chilli
1 Bay leaf
1 inch Cinnamon stick
For Fried Onion
- Cut onion into thin slices and ensure they are almost of the same thickness.
- Heat oil in a kadai, add a few onion slices at one time and deep fry until crisp and golden in colour.
- Transfer them to an absorbent paper. Keep it aside for further use.
- In a large bowl, add green chillies, mint leaves, ginger garlic paste, curd, coriander powder.
- Add degi red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste, coriander leaves, fried onions, fried onion oil and mix it well.
- Add mutton and marinate well. Add ghee, fried onion oil, and whole garlic.
For Handi Gosht
- Season the handi with ghee on hot coal, add dry red chilli, bay leaf, cinnamon stick.
- Add marinated mutton into the handi and cover it with the lid.
- Attached the wheat dough across the pot rim to seal it properly.
- Place the sealed pot on the hot coal. Cook until the meat is tender.
- With the help of a toothpick make a small hole. Dum it properly.
- Now, open the lid and slightly stir it well. Remove the whole garlic aside.
- Garnish it with coriander sprig and serve hot.