Falia di Sabjee
Spiced Runner Beans
During the British Raj, Robert Maitland Brereton was given the task of expanding the rail roads in India. He had to create the longest most complex network of railways to connect the richest colonies across the country.
In 1903, for the first time, mail and express trains came equipt with full dining carts and the food they served left it's mark on the Indian hospitality industry. A train called 'Frontier Mail (renamed Golden Temple Mail after independence)' had an amazing restaurant car which created some very special dishes. Run by Western Railway, the train was considered the Rolls Royce of its time. It was luxurious with a shower, a salon and even a steam room. It served inimitable dishes with a real fusion of British and Indian culture. Western meals were served with bread rolls, it was the first time that Roast Chicken was introduced to the Indian palate, it included Madras style spicy mutton curry and rice and even chicken cutlets or kebabs. This is where the infamous Railway Mutton Curry was born and since its inception on the railway dining cart it has since been served in the grandest of hotels such as The Oberoi and Made in Punjab.
The story goes that a drunken British officer stumbled into the kitchen looking for midnight snack but the dinner service had ended and the cooks were making food for themselves. One of the dishes they were cooking was the Calcutta Mangsho Jhol. This is a robust curry cooked with mutton, potatoes and mustard oil. It's dark and oily in nature and is known for it's homestye fiery taste. Unsuitable for the officer, the cooks tweaked the flavour very quickly using yoghurt and coconut milk to sweeten it up. Thrilled with the flavours the officer ordered it every time he was on the train, and it was fondly given the name the Railway Mutton Curry.
This recipe is a version of the Railway curry using lamb and coconut cream making it mild and tasty. I have also used less oil then you would for a traditional Bengali meat curry and by using Kashmiri chilli powder the dish is more red in colour and mild in heat but if you want to spice it up just add a few extra green chillies - it is truely wonderful.
*Note: If you are using an everyday potato (Maris Piper etc) add later so they cook for approx. 25 minutes.