‘Shab’ means ‘night’ and ‘Daig’ is a big cooking pot or ‘cauldron’ . The recipe originates from the beautiful valley of Kashmir, where winter is long and cold. Traditionally this stew was slow cooked all night on very low heat, the very image of a big, aromatic and rich pot of turnips, meat and meatballs simmering in a cold night is really heart warming. And then how comforting it must be to eat that first thing in the morning with some bread dunked in. A recipe like that is truly a celebration of winter season.

Lamb is the favourite meal in that region and mostly used for this recipe, some people also use beef or a mix of lamb and beef. I used chicken in mine because if you have been following my blog, I’m sure you know by now that chicken is the popular choice in our family because kids don’t object to it and it’s super quick to cook. Ive simplified this lengthy and many steps procedure to a one pot, quick and easy recipe that can be prepared within an hour to suit our modern lifestyles.

This curry has a very different and distinct taste, with the mingling of flavours from turnips, meat and meatballs. You can also add carrots to balance out meat with more vegetables in the stew. This is one winter delicacy that you shouldn’t miss.

For Shab Daig, Kashmiri Cuisine :

6 medium turnips, peeled

1/2 kg boneless chicken/lamb/beef, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 onion, sliced

1 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried ginger powder

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 stick cinnamon

3-4 cloves

2 teaspoon Kashmiri or red chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

4 tablespoons olive oil or ghee( clarified butter)

For Meatballs :

1/2 kg chicken/lamb/beef mince

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried ginger powder

1 teaspoon Kashmiri or red chillies

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 green chilli pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons gram flour/besan

1 egg

This Is What You Do :

Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry onions till golden brown.

Remove from oil, add fried onions, ginger powder, garlic powder, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, yogurt, red chillies and salt to a food processor. Make a smooth paste.

Fry whole, peeled turnips in the oil left in the pan till golden on all sides, add meat and fry till golden brown.

Add the masala paste and sauté till it separates from oil, add 2 cups of water, reduce heat to low, cover the pan.

Briefly whiz all ingredients of meatballs in a food processor or mix with hands. Wet your hands and make meatballs almost the same size of turnips.

place them carefully in the cooking pot, don’t stir the pot or the meatballs will break. Rotate it to coat the meatballs with stew. Add more water if necessary.

Let it simmer till the turnips and meat are tender.

Serve hot with flatbread of your choice or steamed rice.

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