Chiniot is a city in Punjab, Pakistan, on the bank of the river Chenab. It’s famous for intricate wooden furniture, ornate architecture, mosques, and an early 20th century mansion – Umer Hayat Mahal. But there is one more very delicious reason for the city’s fame – traditional, wholesome and hearty Chinioti Kunna Gosht.

The name Kunna is derived from the round clay utensil used to cook the dish, also known as Matka.This kunna or matka was buried under ashes to slow simmer the meat broth for a long time. The meat comes out very tender and infused with aroma of spices.

The list of spices is not long. Basically a few pantry staples that are used to flavour, tenderise and perfume the dish. Still the broth comes out rich and fulfilling.

Somehow,the slow cooking method of this Chinioti specialty reminds one of Nihari(another rich meat curry from the indian sub continent. But Kunna Gosht is simpler and milder in taste. Lamb or mutton with bones is the ideal meat for this dish but you can cook it with beef and chicken too. Ideal cuts for Kunna are from lamb or goat leg piece with joints included.

Lamb or mutton with bones, 1kg
2 medium onions, sliced
ginger-garlic paste 2 tablespoons
salt to taste
red chilli powder or kashmiri chilli powder, 2 teaspoons or to taste
turmeric powder 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon
Fennel crushed, 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Wheat flour 2 tablespoons
garam masala 1/2 tsp
Desi ghee(clarified butter)/ coconut or olive oil 3-4 tablespoons.

This Is What You Do:
Heat desi ghee or oil in a clay or heavy bottomed metal pan, add sliced onion, stir fry till light golden.

Add ginger-garlic paste, continue to stir fry another minute.

Add meat and fry anothet couple of minutes to seal in the juices.

Add salt and all the dry spices with 1/2 cup water. Cook without lid till the liquid is reduced and spices dont smell raw anymore (5-6 minutes).

Add 6 cups of water, tightly cover the mouth of pan with foil sheet, a tight fitting lid or seal the lid with flour dough to the pan.

Reduce heat to low. And leave to simmer for 1 and a half hour (90 mimutes).

Make a smooth paste of wheat flour and 1/2 cup water (there should not be any lumps). Gradually add this paste to the simmering broth while stirring continuously till it dilutes completely with the gravy.

Cover the pan again for 30 minutes and leave to simmer on very low heat.

The ready curry should have a soupy shorba/broth.

Garnish with garam masala (mixed spice blend), fresh coriander and julliened ginger.

Serve hot with naan or enjoy as a comforting, protein rich broth/soup.

Serves 6

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