Sunday, December 12, 2010

Karachi Food Diaries Day 5 (Spinach and meat curry, palak gosht)

December 11. 2010 Saturday- Day 5
I was awakened by my brother this morning who had flown in the red-eye from New York via Abu Dhabi. He couldn't sleep and wanted company. I joined him for breakfast. My usual, which is now becoming a happy routine. We chatted for a while. I then went in for yoga. Lunch was eaten on the veranda; aloo tikias (potato patties filled with ground beef), bhindi (sauteed okra) and daal with salad and roti. Another great home cooked meal.
Feeling satiated, I took a nap and then went for a majlis. The hisa today was the famous Karachi chicken patty- chicken mashed with lots of butter, salt, ground black pepper and other spices in a fluffy, crunchy pastry. I dream about one of these on a regular basis. I was invited out but declined to enjoy the peace of a quiet home evening. These evenings are rare and I want to make the most of them. Dinner was palak gosht (spinach with lamb) and turnip sabzi with rice.
 Palak Gosht is the ultimate hearty, nutritious dish. Salt and pepper lamb cut up and preferably on the bone. Heat a heavy pan and then add oil. Sear the lamb pieces on all sides. Remove from pan. In the same pan, add 1 ground medium onion and let it turn reddish. At this point add 1 tbsp. ground garlic and ginger each. Mix together and fry for a couple of minutes and then add the meat and any juices that may have accumulated. Add 1 tsp. turmeric, 2 tsp. coriander powder and 1 tsp. cayenne powder and cook on medium heat till the aroma changes and mellows and the meat starts rendering its own fat. At this point, have a quick taste to check the spices and if need be add more salt. Now add 1 large bunch spinach, cover tightly, turn down heat and let cook for 10 minutes so that the spinach releases its own water. Uncover, mix well so the flavor is well distributed, cover again and let cook for another 30 minutes or until the meat tenderizes. Serve with lemon wedges and white basmati rice.  

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