punjabi goshtNamkeen Gosht – This delicacy from the cuisine of Quetta, Baluchistan as well as other areas of NWFP including Peshawar, is made either during Eid-ul-Azha (Badi Eid) or for special family functions.

My attempts to find the origin of this very elusive dish were quite painful. During the course of my online research, I came across a lot of conflicting preparations and it became difficult to ascertain which one was really authentic. While some recipes advocated use of just garlic, others suggested use of both ginger and garlic. Some recipes suggested use of papaya as a tenderiser while others suggested use of vinegar. Some preparations indicated use of black pepper and others said ‘stay away’. Then there were a few that advocated use of tomatoes, turmeric, red chillies as well. This was enough for me to enter a state of total analysis paralysis.

I understood that traditionally this decadent dish was made with beef or goat’s meat, while I planned to work with lamb where fat content is relatively lower. The process however was simple. You essentially let pieces of meat with fat simmer gently within its marinade till there is may be a cup of yakhni (stock or simple broth) left and the meat is delightfully tender and juicy.

I finally decided to use a simpler set of easily available ingredients and make Namkeen Gosht a bit ‘Punjabi’ that I am and akin to another dry mutton dish that my mother makes but contrary to her process without using pressure cooking. I decided to give it a bit of punch too without using black pepper at all. Hope you all like my Punjabi Namkeen Gosht.

  • Preparation Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cooking time: 1.5 hours
  • Cooking Gizmos: Thick bottomed pan or pressure cooker without its lid
  • Serves: 5

What goes in?

What kinds?

How much?

Fresh Meat on the bone

Shoulder with fat on

750 grams

Vinegar

Malt or Balsamic

400 grams

Ginger Garlic Paste

Make fresh

2 tablespoons

Curds or yoghurt

Homemade is better

300 grams

Ginger

Fresh cut into juliennes

1 inch

Green Chillies

Thinly sliced in length

2 long ones

Coriander leaves

Fresh leaves finely chopped

A small bunch

Table Salt

Your favourite brand

To taste

How to go about it?

  1. Clean and dry the mutton pieces thoroughly and add malt vinegar to them. Let this rest for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Drain and add curds, ginger garlic paste and salt. Mix well and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the mixture to the hot heavy bottomed pan and let it simmer till done. It took me about 1.5 hours on low heat.
  4. Garnish with ginger juliennes, sliced green chillies and freshly chopped coriander.
  5. Serve as a snack or with plain hot rotis.
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