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Mar 082010

kashmiri Lamb Pulao / Neni Pulao


‘Gar firdaus bar rue zameen ast,

hameen asto, hameen asto, hameen ast

(If ever there is Paradise on Earth , It is here! It is here! It is here! ) – reflected Emperor Jahangir in praise of Kashmir (the couplet is  by Farsi Poet Amir Khusrau) .  I agree! I think the beauty of Kashmir reflects in its art, culture, people, food, language and of course being a valley nestled in the great Himalayas, adds a breath-taking charm.

Featured today is a recipe from this charming valley that produces one of the premium quality saffron- the Crocus sativus ‘Cashmirianus.  This Pulao is a delicate combination of spices with lamb and rice. The resulting dish makes your entire house fragrant, kids want to know what’s for dinner and the SO’s feel inclined to open a bottle of wine.

Here is the recipe for this delicious one pot meal

Serves : 3-4


  • 2 C basmati Rice
  • 4 C water
  • 1 Lb lamb, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • A couple of pinches of saffron
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 Tbs Ghee
  • 2 tsp fennel powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 10 – 12 almonds [optional]
  • A few raisins [optional]

Procedure :

  1. Heat up the water in a pressure cooker. Add the lamb, ginger powder, fennel powder, asafoetida and salt. Cook for about 5- 6 minutes in the pressure cooker . The lamb should be just about cooked.
  2. Take out the lamb from the stock and reserve. Reserve the stock in a bowl. Rinse the pressure cooker with some water.
  3. Wash and drain the rice.
  4. Put the pressure cooker back on heat, allow it to dry up. Now heat the ghee in the pressure cooker, add the cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, almonds and all the other ingredients except saffron. Stir. add the lamb and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Now Add the rice, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add four cups of the reserved stock. If you don’t have enough stock you can add water.
  6. Add the saffron, stir gently. Cook on medium high heat until the stock is absorbed into the rice.
  7. At this stage, place a cast iron pan on the stove on low heat, place the pressure cooker with the lid on, on the cast iron pan.
  8. Cook this way until the rice is cooked well – usually 20 – 25 minutes.

Serve hot. If you are serving this dish for entertaining , then I would recommend serving this with a hot n spicy meat or chicken dish. For me this is a complete meal, with some salad of onions, cucumbers, tomatoes on the side and a lassi served at room temperature to finish the meal.

Feb 172010
Lamb Korma

Korma : The type of dishes that get you hooked to spice, flavor and all the deliciousness. This is my favorite Lamb recipe to make if I am expecting company. This Lamb korma has a delicious combination of spices yet it not hot.  This recipe is bases on  Julie Sahni’s classic Indian cooking cookbook.  This is a simply divine Korma and no one would guess you made it at home.

This recipe has a long list of ingredients and does require intermediate cooking skills. So try this only when you are comfortable working with a lot of ingredients.

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs Ghee
  • 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 tsp Shahi zeera/ black cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cumin pwdr
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin pwdr
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste
Procedure :
  1. Heat 2 Tbs  ghee in a pan, add the onions and fry on medium heat until they brown really well. This step will take about 12 – 15 minutes.
  2. While the onions are cooking, heat another pan with the remaining ghee in it, and put in the lamb. Cook for a couple of minutes on high heat. This process seals in the juices and gives the lamb a good texture.
  3. Reduce heat to medium for the lamb and let it cook.
  4. Now, keep stirring at regular intervals – both the lamb and the onions- side by side.
  5. Once the onions are browned, add the ginger garlic, and stir. Cook for a minute or so and add the cumin, cumin powder, roasted cumin powder, mace, cinnamon, chilli powder, garam masala.  Stir and cook for another minute.
  6. Add this mixture to the pan which has lamb in it. Mix lamb and the spice and onion mix and cook for a couple of minutes,  stirring all the time to let the spices and the lamb mix well.
  7. Add the yogurt,cream and salt and mix well. Bring it to a boil , cover the pan, reduce the heat to let the meat simmer.
  8. Cook for 45 minutes, and stir at regular intervals to keep the meat or the sauce from sticking to the pan
  9. If the gravy seems to dry up fast, add some meat stock/chicken stock to the dish
  10. Check for doneness, by inserting a fork into the meat. The meat should be tender and look succulent
  11. This dish will not have much gravy/sauce/curry. The fat in the lamb and the ghee will sort of float to the top once the dish is done.
  12. Switch off heat and let it rest covered for about 1/2 an hour before serving
  13. Serve with Rice (plain or infused with saffron)  /Naan, Daal , sliced raw onions and a vegetable on the side

Let the flavors Entice!

Jun 232008

Kashmiri Chokhta – Pan roasted lamb is one of the easiest Kashmiri dishes to make. There is absolutely no chopping, dicing, slicing involved. Want to make a special meal for a date night ? here is how you can do it –
Chokhta – The pan Roasted Lamb


  • 1 pounds boneless cubes of Lamb [goat meat would also work]
  • 1/2 C Oil [ preferable Mustard oil that has been warmed and smoked out before you begin to cook]
  • Salt to taste
  • Asafoetida [ hing ] a couple of pinches
  • 2 tbs Kashmiri Red chilli powder or Degi mirch (use less for a milder heat)
  • Ginger powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp [ a Mix of cardamom and cinnamon only would actually be more befitting]
  • One stick cinnamon
  • 2 Cups water


  1. 1 Put the lamb in a degh / or heavy bottomed pan along with water, oil, salt and hing.
  2. 2. Cover up and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir once in a while to ensure all of it mixes well.
  3. 3. Check for the doneness after 15 minutes. you should be able to put in a fork into the meat effortlessly. If its done, let the water dry up. If not .. cook it some more till its tender and then let the water dry up.
  4. 4.Once the liquid dries up, the lamb will start to cook in the oil. Lower the heat and keep cooking till the meat gets an even brown tone and starts to get crisp.
  5. 5.Now add the chilli powder, Mixed in a few table spoons of water and stir as if your life depended on it. this is because the dish depends on it .. the chilli powder should not get burnt.
  6. 6.The dish would attain a dark red color.
  7. 7. Add in the ginger powder and a tea spoon more of water. The idea is the same.. the dry powder should not burn .
  8. 8. Cook till the oil separates. add the garam masala.. cook some more and spoon out on a plate of Boiled Long grained white rice.
  9. 9. Cuddle up on the couch with your guy/girl and eat from the same plate ..
  10. OK Point No 9 can have variations and so can the serving suggestions 🙂