Now what’s really so special about Degi Aloo Gosht and what makes it different from the regular meat and potato curry? First thing, it’s a stew that used to be cooked on low and slow heat in gigantic heavy metal cauldrons on special occasions. The slow braising made the meat fall off the bones tender and the stew extremely flavourful.
Secondly, it was cooked with whole spices and Degi mirch or Kashmiri mirch. Slow simmering with whole spices infused it with an unforgettable depth of flavour and aroma. Degi mirch or Kashmiri chillies lent a deep rich red colour that would wake up any dormant appetite. The gravy was kept thicker than the regular Aloo Gosht Shorba.
Times changed, the fast paced life required us to change our cooking styles and eating habits too. Now we mostly use pressure cookers, ready spice mixes and meat tenderisers to make our meals. Still some traditions and flavours can be kept alive, without disrupting our daily routine. This recipe is my endeavour to create a delicious family meal in my modern kitchen, while staying true to the real thing from the good old times.
I use a heavy bottomed metal pan for this recipe. It doesn’t require very long active time in the kitchen, once it gets simmering on very low heat, you can go about your chores or put your feet up and relax for 35-40 minutes. It’s also a perfect recipe for slow cooker. And it can be made in bulk and frozen in small portions or made ahead for a large gathering.
Not a fan of lamb? It tastes equally amazing when cooked with chicken and gets done more quickly too.
This is my second recipe in the traditional ‘Degi food series’ , also check out Degi Steam Roast Chicken and stay tuned for more comfort food coming in this series.
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into halves
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece ginger
2 black cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon red chilli or Kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
1/2 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
4 tablespoons ghee( clarified butter) or olive oil
This Is What You Do:
Fry the onions till golden brown. Don’t let the onions burn on the edges or get too dark or it will ruin the colour and flavour of your curry.
Remove the onions from the oil. Add fried onions, ginger, garlic and chopped tomatoes to blender and make a smooth paste.
Add the meat and potatoes to the oil and fry till the meat changes colour to golden on the outside.
Add black cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chillies, turmeric and salt. Sauté for 2 minutes.
Beat the yogurt till it’s smooth. Add the onion paste and yogurt to the pan, keep cooking without lid till the masala changes colour and separates from oil.
Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Reduce heat, cover the pan and cook till the potatoes and meat are done. 35-40 minutes for chicken. 45-60 minutes for lamb.
If the curry gets too thick by the time meat and potatoes are done, add more water to get the consistency of stew that you like. Traditionally, Degi Aloo Gosht has a medium thick curry.
Season with crushed cardamom seeds and garam masala. Turn of the heat, cover the pan and let the stew absorb the aroma and flavour from cardamom and garam masala for five minutes.
Serve hot with Pulao or naan.