There are as many curries as there are stars in this universe, but this one is also a traditional way our grandmothers and great grandmothers prepared it, at least as far back as the 1850's. A particularly traditional touch is the addition of two tomatoes. cut in halves, added in the last 10 minutes of cooking just to infuse and soften. Served on top of the curry, it is just something that reflects our Persian roots.
It is one of those foods that we now find fiddly, its time consuming rather then difficult to prepare. There were no blenders in those days just the old fashioned masala no pathar (art of grinding spices,) lots of strong arms. One took pride in how fine the spices were ground, how tough and capable the person grinding it was! It was definitely a work out.
In-spite of all the wonderful blenders we now have at our finger tips, this curry is meant to be granular and thick. While we serve it with rice, it can be eaten with warm crisp bread. Growing up we generally did just that if there were left overs.
While the toasting and refreshing of the nuts and spices before grinding can be tedious, the aromas are incredible.
The end result varies, depending on the number of short cuts one makes to get to the finished product.
|Lamb potato curry served with plain boiled rice and kuchumbar|
Serves 6 persons
1 fresh onion, peeled and cut in quarters
1 whole fresh coconut, grated
2 inch piece of ginger ( thumb size )
1 whole pod of garlic, peeled
12 whole dry red chillies
2 tsp whole cumin
2 tbsp corriander seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp peanuts
3 tbsp gram
3 tbsp almonds
1 tbsp Oil
1 kg lamb in pieces bone in
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 green chillies
3 tomatoes = 1 cup puree of tomato
2 raw mangoes peeled and cut into pieces
4 peeled potatoes in pieces
1 cupful fried onions, (2 onions)
3 stalks curry leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
Dry roast the first 12 ingredients and grind them. In a large pot heat the oil and fry the masala/spices.
Add the lamb, salt, chillies, tomato puree and mangoes. Mix well.
Add 3 cups of water bring it to a boil and cook for 45 minutes.
Add the potaotes, fried onions and curry leaves. Cook for another 45 minutes
Add the lemon juice, check for salt and serve with boiled rice.
Generally most nuts and seeds are dry roasted to refresh them allowing their natural oils to come up to the surface before grinding.
Traditionally tomatoes cut in half are added on a Parsi Gos ni Curry. These are placed on top of the curry at the very end. Just to steam and be soft enough to cut into.
Crush the green chillies if you want it spicier and add 2 extra for a kick.
Use 1 tbsp each of peanut butter, almond butter and gram flour to alternate getting fresh nuts. However you cannot roast any of these.
Use limbu if available. If not, lemons and limes are acceptable.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
Photo Courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala