A blade shines in the darkest of the nights
As all of you already know, Pierre and I love Indian food, besides cooking some at home, we frequent a lot of Indian restaurants too. The menus always have a lot of unfamilliar words that we can only understand thanks to the provided translation. As I was writing this post, I decided to do some search on what those we see most often mean.
Here is what I found: Batak (duck), Chingri (shrimps), Gosht (meat - invariably lamb), Jingha (prawn), Kofta (meat balls), Murgh (chicken), Nargis (boiled egg), Paneer (cheese), Bhindi (okra, ladies' fingers), Dall (lentils), Ghobi (cauliflower), Kumbi (mushrooms), Matar (peas), Saag (spinach); and "Aloo Gosht" means Potatoes with Meat. And this is what is simmering in our pot today.
It all started on twitter with a group of wonderful and good food blogging friends. We were twittering about food (what else) and such when I kept seeing the word 'Ghost' popping up. Whenever Jamie and Deeba mentioned about Jamie's Aloo Gosht, they would joke about Meeta seeing ghost when having this dish. Now that piqued my ninja curiosity wondering if Meeta really had some ghostly encounter with this dish. To my great disappointment, it was nothing of the kind. LOL! You see, Meeta was trying to compliment Jamie on her recent Aloo Gosht dish when she accidently typed Aloo Ghost instead, causing Jamie and Deeba teased her non stop about it. To be honest, I never really made the connection between gosht and ghost until Meeta let me in on the joke. It was then that I took a double look at the word 'GOSHT' - LOL. So here we are, I made our very own Aloo Ghost, oops, I mean Gosht.
The below recipe is a slightly modified version from the original version by Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking on Jamie's blog, Lifesafeast.
It's savory and very aromatic with just a teasing tint of spiciness in each spoonful. The meat is very tender. It's also a bit soupy and the broth is lightly tangy. My mom-in-law finds it very refreshing and umpf! A wonderful dish to have on a cold day!
In my above recipe I have reduced the quantity of water from the original recipe of 900 ml as I find my dish was way too soupy (very thin broth) to my liking and I had to simmer it uncovered for a long time to reduce water. I find that it is better to add less water first and dilute it later to your preference if one finds it too concentrated.
If you are using normal pot to cook the above recipe, cook step 5 until oil separates from the sauce and sauce thickens. However if you are using a non-stick wok or pot, oil will not separate from sauce.
If you have some very firm potatoes, you may let potatoes simmer together with the rest of the ingredients for an hour or so. As for me, the normal potatoes I had in my pantry just simply melt to pieces at the end of an hour or so of simmering.
Adjust the spiciness according to your taste. Omit the green chili totally if you can't take spiciness, but put more if you like it hot as I made it mild for my family. The chili powder I use in all my recipes is from grounded dried chilli. I understand that there are different version of chili powder available - some are a blend of chili with other spices.
It's funny how living in hustling and bustling city life for too long makes one takes lots of things for granted. I have been so busy with my life that I forgot to take a pause and enjoy the beauty and simple pleasures in life. Spending the last few weekends up at the mountain house with a snowy mountain view reminded me about it and it also brought back a lot of fond childhood memories. So before I post today's recipe, I would like to share with you this lovely poem that I came across when I was 14 and it has since then imprinted in my heart and mind.
"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."
Today's recipe is by my best friend Leeza, who taught me how to cook this delicious mutton curry. If you are like me, who doesn't really like mutton because of the smell of the meat when cooked, you shouldn't worry about it when making this dish. The trick is to get rid of as much fat surrounding the meat as you can possibly take out, leaving only a bit here and there as it is needed for cooking.
SHIOK ! (DELICIOUS)
The meat is so tender and savorous with its very aromatic and spicy gravy. A great dish to have during cold season - sure warms you up right away.
If there is any leftover gravy, don't throw it away. It tastes great with pasta.
What I love about this dish is that it is very simple and easy to prepare (fuss free) - just dump everything into the pot and bring it to boil and then let it simmer for 2 hours and the meal is ready.
If you prefer to have more gravy, add more tomato paste and water. Add more curry powder if needed for the spiciness.