Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Aloo Cholay (Potato Chickpeas)

Some days, you just need to make something quick and easy. That's where Aloo Cholay (Potato Chickpeas) comes in.  People enjoy this during breakfast and sometimes as a side dish.  Meet Shan.  

Shan is your good friend when you either a) don't have a recipe, b) don't feel like using your own spices.  Mine is, unfortunately, the former.  That said, sometimes your friend, Shan, lies to you.  Telling you to use the WHOLE packet (not in this case) or sometimes asking you to do some crazy things that you know in your achi bivi heart are just wrong!!  That's why I'm giving you my side of the story, instead of Shan's.  I'm also going to tell you to add a potato and use a can of cooked chickpeas instead!

Start by getting yourself a 25oz can of garbanzo beans (also known as canned, cooked, chickpeas).  Peel and chop 1 medium sized potato into 1" cubes.

Put in a pot and cover with water (~5 cups?).  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for approximately 25 minutes.  Drain water.

Finely chop 1 small onion and fry on medium/high heat in enough oil to cover the base of a new, large pan (~1/2 cup).  When lightly browned, add 3 Tablespoons Shan Chana Masala mix and cook for 5 minutes.  Add drained chickpeas/potatoes, and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with naan or paratha!  Enjoy your easy meal!  :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chukunder Ghosht (Beetroots w/Goat Meat)

Chukunder Ghosht is quite possibly my favorite goat dish.  Pakistanis eat a lot of goat meat.  As an American, I thought it was unusual at first, but now I feel it is better tasting that beef and is generally very, very tender.  When purchasing goat from your local Arab or Pakistani market, you should try to get it from the leg.  Shoulder meat is the other option and it may have more bones (which is not a huge deal, so if your only option is shoulder meat, that's fine).  Just order it how you would order any other meat, "1 pound goat meat, from the leg, cut into pieces."  It's probably quite obvious to Pakistanis how to order this kind of meat, but prior to marrying a Pakistani, I only purchased meat that was pre-packaged on a shelf!  The nice thing about ordering it this way is that the butcher will generally cut the meat into pieces for you, which helps a LOT!

This recipe is wonderful for stomach pains or sensitive stomachs.  It is relatively mild and incredibly tender.  It was one of the few recipes I could enjoy while pregnant and something I have made for my husband recovering from surgery.  It makes a great davvaat (invitation) and at-home meal.  Recently, I made this for my visiting in-laws and was told it tasted exactly like my mother-in-law's!  Enjoy. :)

First, cut off the tails and use a peeler to peel four medium sized beetroots.

Thinly slice your beetroots (if you are good at parring instead of chopping, you might be able to make them even thinner than I did!).

Stack them up and chop them in half.

Finely chop 1 medium onion and fry in 1/2 cup vegetable oil on high heat until golden brown in a large pot.  Add pre-washed 1 pound of chopped goat meat.  Fry until meat changes color.  Add 2 teaspoons ginger & garlic paste, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, ~1 Tablespoon salt, and fry for a few minutes.

Finely chop 1 medium tomato and add it to the pot.  Add beetroot and ~5 cups of water.

Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer (low heat) and cook for 1 1/2 hours, covered.

When you're done, it might look like this (above).  Make sure that you evaporate a good amount of the water until it looks like a gravy (just turn the heat on high and stir continuously until some of the water evaporates -- this can take about 10 minutes).

When it's ready, it will look like this -- notice how the water went down almost 2 inches!  You'll end up having about 1 1/2 cups of water/gravy left over.

Add 3 green chilis and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala.

 Remove from heat into serving bowl.  Top with ~1/2 cup of cilantro leaves and serve with basmati rice or naan.