Eidul Azha is the festival of barbecues, roasts, broasts and pulaos for foodies. Beef and mutton meats from qurbani are grilled, fried, stewed, and barbecued in almost every Muslim household. It is typical to find ladies frantically scribbling down recipes shared by celebrity chefs on cooking channels to make their Eid cuisine special.
Amid fried and barbecued dishes, a desi dish that is guaranteed to stand out is Mirch Daal Gosht. A spicy curry, the dish combines the rich meaty goodness of beef with the earthy, nutritious flavour of gram lentils (channay ki daal). The consistency of the curry can always be changed to gravy by keeping the liquid content low.
Mirch Daal Gosht can be served with hot, fluffy garlic naans or a side of boiled rice. It is important to take a head start with the preparation of the dish because it requires overnight marination of the meat, and soaking of the lentils for best cooking results.
This is a beef recipe, but those who are mutton fans on Eidul Azha can easily substitute it with the meat. Do not try this recipe with camel meat as it is saltier. You can give it a try if you are an adventurist in the kitchen.
1 kg beef boti (small square pieces)
2 cups gram lentils
3 large tomatoes (crushed to pulp)
1 cup fried onions,
4 to 5 green chillies
6 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
2 tbsp green chilli paste
3 tsp turmeric powder
3 teaspoons red chilli powder
3 tsp garam masala powder,
1 cup vinegar
3 cups chopped coriander
6 to 7 curry leaves
3 to 4 bay leaves (taiz patta)
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 flower star anise
1 ½ inch-long cinnamon stick
6 to 7 cloves
3 to 4 whole red chilli pods
1 cup yogurt
Marinate the meat overnight in vinegar, one teaspoon salt, green chilli paste, and two tablespoons oil. Soak the lentils overnight as well.
1. Boil the lentils in a generous amount of water until they are soft and can be crushed easily. A pressure cooker can speed up the process.
2. To the meat marinade, add three tablespoons of ginger and garlic paste and garam masala powder and boil in water until it is soft and well done.
3. In a large cooking pot, add one cup of oil, cumin seeds, three tablespoons of ginger garlic paste, whole red chilli, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, curry leaves, star anise and cloves, and fry on medium heat until the ginger and garlic paste turns slightly brown.
4. Add the meat, lentils and green chillies and mix the ingredients well.
5. Add fried onions and continue to fry the ingredients for two minutes on high heat.
6. Add yogurt and turmeric powder, mix well and continue to fry for another two to three minutes on high heat. By this time, the lentils will begin to mash up on their own. This does wonders to the texture of the gravy.
7. Add one cup of coriander leaves and fry for another minute. Add more oil if contents begin to dry up. There should be oil separately sizzling around the meat and lentils throughout.
8. Pour in the tomato pulp and continue to cook until oil separates.
9. Add the remaining two cups of coriander leaves and fry well.
10. Add about a cup of water and allow the contents to simmer on medium heat to the point where it turns into gravy. If you wish to make a curry, increase the water content.
11. Once the desired consistency has been achieved, serve with a garnish of freshly chopped coriander leaves, sliced green chillies and sliced ginger.
is a US-based creative writer and home baker. She is an editor and staff writer for Muslim youth magazines and websites, and publishes her own food, travel, and photography blogs.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2014.