It won’t be an exaggeration if I called ‘Karahi’ the national dish of Pakistan. Not only its one of the most popular of dishes on all the restaurant menus in the entire country but also the most frequently cooked meal by home cooks.
It’s a quick and convenient, one-pot preparation, without doubt one of the most delicious of curries. And it represents Pakistani food culture like nothing else does – a satisfying, hearty, meat main with very few basic ingredients and simple cooking technique.
Karahi Gosht (or meat cooked in a wok) is said to have originated from the Northern areas of Pakistan, where lamb and goat meat rules supreme. Then the entire country fell in love with the dish and lovingly made different local versions, some spicier than others, some more like dry fry and others preferring luscious masala. While chicken still remains the favourite of majority, traditional mutton and more recently fish Karahi are also enjoyed by ardent fans of red meat and seafood.
Black Pepper Mutton Karahi is the most rustic and basic of Karahi versions. Black pepper and mutton are one of the best flavour pairings ever! Good quality meat, stewed with onions, tomatoes, salt and black pepper, garnished with fresh herbs and ginger makes the easiest and most warming of meals for any time of the year. But especially when the weather is cold, the tender meat with the slow spreading, long simmering heat of black peppers becomes the simplest and most delicious of joys that life can offer.
Serve Black Pepper Mutton Karahi with piping hot naans for an ultimate comfort food experience.
1 kg Mutton cut ups
3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
1 inch piece ginger, julienned
Fresh coriander and green chilli peppers for garnishing
This Is What You Do:
Heat oil in a wok or heavy bottomed deep pan.
Add meat and fry a few minutes till golden on the outside.
Add onions and continue to fry till onions change colour (not turn golden or brown).
Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and salt.
Puree 4 tomatoes and add to the pan. Add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Then cover the pan and reduce heat to a mere simmer.
Cook for 40 minutes or till the meat is really tender. There should be very little liquid left by this time.
Finely dice 1 remaining tomato. Add it to karahi. Add black pepper. If the curry is too dry by now, add a splash of water. Cover the pan for another 5-6 minutes and cook on low heat till the tomato softens a bit and half blends with the curry. (This gives the curry a chunkier, more rustic texture).
Remove lid, increase heat to medium high. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes till the masala separates from oil.
Garnish with fresh coriander, green chilli peppers and julienned ginger.
(Season with a little more coarsely crushed black pepper if desired) .
Serve hot with naan or roti (flatbread).