Among the most delicious curries derived from the later Mughals is ‘Kundan Qaliya’, a lesser-known recipe, requiring a special touch. Traditionally made of goat meat, in this creation, the gravy takes on a golden hue and to add to the glitter, there is the embellishment of a patchwork of ‘gold warq’ (gold leaf) which add a royal glitter, elevating it to regal heights.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 30 min               
Cooking Time: 40 min

1/2 inch cubes 800 gm Mutton, boneless
1/2 cup Cooking oil
4 Green cardamom               
1 inch 3 Cinnamon sticks
4 Cloves  
1/2 cup Onion paste              
1 tbs Ginger           
2 tbs Garlic paste  
1 tbs Turmeric       
1 tbs Yellow chili powder      
1 tbs Coriander powder         
Salt, to taste
1 cup Curd, whisked well       
1 cup Brown onion paste       
1/4 cup Almond paste           
1 tbs Green cardamom powder            
1 tbs White pepper powder  
1/2 tbs Saffron, dissolved in 1 tbs of milk            
8 Gold leaf (warq) 
4 Pistachio blanched and cut into fine slivers

Heat oil, add whole cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and sauté till crackling; add onion paste, sauté till golden brown.
Add mutton and stir fry until moisture evaporates.
Add ginger, garlic pastes and sauté until light golden; add turmeric powder, yellow chili powder, coriander powder, salt and stir for a minute. Add whisked curd and stir fry again.
When meat is almost tender, add two cups water, bring to boil and simmer until meat is well cooked.
Remove from heat, take out the pieces of mutton, strain the gravy and return to flame.
Put the pieces of mutton back into the gravy, turn on medium heat and add almond paste. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add cardamom and white pepper powder and mix. Finally, drizzle saffron, simmer for a minute and remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
Dab with gold leaf (warq) and a sprinkling of fine pistachio slivers to garnish.