The Meat Affair

Growing up in a family with mixed culture is a cumbersome task. The miscellany of the two cultures is evident in one’s lifestyle, education and most importantly eating habits.

I have spent most of my early childhood in confusion because I couldn’t decide on the medium to speak in. The language that my mum used to talk to everyone else in the family or the language my grand mum used to converse with my dad in?
I decided to speak in both!
Although Urdu has broadly been replaced by Bengali in the later years especially after my grand mum passed away but my dad stills uses it as the medium to converse with his siblings and so do I at times (only to the lot who has trouble understanding bengali).

Same has been the scenario with food, choosing between Bengali and mughlai cuisines was almost impossible for me, until my mum found a way to make the most out of these parallel cuisines.
My mum’s kitchen has seen all sorts of healthy and unhealthy fusions and here’s sharing  today a recipe borne out of those multiple fusion experiments.

This is mum’s favorite way of feeding us vegetables. Infuse the vegetables we usually avoid eating with beef or mutton and Voila! We are hogging!
There are probably hundred different ways meat is prepared at my household, this one in particular is a easy one and supposed to be on the healthier side (or not).
This is a beef or mutton curry with pumpkin and spinach drumsticks or more appropriately called kumdo and pui danta gosht.
The original idea of this dish was to cut down on the red meat fat by introducing vegetables in it reason why bird meat does not complement this preparation as much as red meat does.

                                                   KUMDO AND PUI DANTA GOSHT


Prep time: 1 hour                  Cooking time: 2 hours                  Serves: 5

Here’s what you will need:

  • 500gms mutton/beef (medium sized bony pieces)
  • 250 gms pumpkins cut into big pieces
  • 250 gms potato diced at par with the pumpkins
  • 3 spinach drumsticks cut into 3″ pieces
  • 2 big onions finely chopped
  • coriander powder 2 tsp
  • turmeric powder 1.5 tsp
  • kashmiri red chili powder  1 tsp
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • bay leaves 2-3
  • cardamom pods crushed 2-3
  • sugar 1 tsp
  • fried cumin powder 1/2 tsp
  • salt
  • mustard oil

Here’s what you need to do:

Wash the meat thoroughly and dry the water out by wrapping it in a cloth tightly. In a pan heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil and add bay leaves followed by cardamom to it.
Mix in the chopped onions and fry till they acquire a golden color. Add the dried meat in to the fried onions followed by ginger garlic paste, turmeric, coriander and chili powder.
Mix in all the spices well and give it a thorough stir. Keep stirring to avoid burning of the spices. Once the meat starts stiffening and releases water add in the vegetables and potatoes. Season the meat as per your requirement and add in the sugar before giving it a good mix. Let the vegetables cook for about 10 minutes with occasional stirring in between. When the elements start taking a form and releases oil from around the edges pour about a cup and a half of water in it.

Now you can either transfer the elements to a pressure cooker and cook for about 10 minutes until it releases pressure twice or thrice followed by its transfer to the previous pot and leave it on the stove until everything comes together and the excess water gets evaporated. Or you can simply slow cook the meat and vegetables after adding water in the same pot until the potato and meat attains a tender stature and releases oil after evaporating out the excess water which could take about 25-30 minutes.
Cut the heat off and sprinkle some fried cumin powder over the curry.
Tastes best when paired with steamed rice.

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