Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lip-Smacking Mouthwatering Creamy Rich Mutton Gravy

DABBA GOSHT – Exquisite Mutton Delicacy



I love Dabba Gosht.

It’s a rare, exquisite, delicious, succulent, melt-in-the-mouth boneless mutton delicacy dish and only very few select eateries feature it on their menu.

My Dear Reader, Fellow Foodie, let me tell you how I make it and you will know how it tastes.

I take some good quality fresh boneless mutton, say half a kilo, cut into small pieces, wash it clean, rub it thoroughly with ginger-garlic-green chilli-green papaya paste and keep aside to marinate for a while. [I believe that cooking is a qualitative art, not a quantitative science, so I’ll leave the choice of exact proportions to you as per your experience and taste – I like to use a wee bit of green papaya paste as tenderizer for meat, but if you don’t, and your meat is tender, it doesn’t matter].

In a pan, with a tight fitting lid, I take enough water, say two cups, add whole spices [cloves, cardamom – both badi and choti elaichi, cinnamon, peppercorns, jeera, tejpatta], salt to taste, and add the marinated boneless mutton pieces, fit the lid tightly, put on a slow fire, till the mutton is cooked.

I love to sample and taste from time to time and assure myself everything is fine; and plus-minus as required.

Now I separate the cooked boneless mutton pieces and keep aside. I don’t throw away the spicy stock – we’ll be using it to prepare the cashew-nut gravy.

Now I prepare a dahi-based thick kaju gravy starting off with a generous amount of pure ghee to nicely sauté the spices, herbs, masalas, liquidized onions, tomato-puree, using the spicy mutton stock, I prepare the rich cashew-nut gravy letting my imagination run riot – whisked curds, whipped cream, roasted onion paste, rich cashew-nut paste [fortified with almond-dry fruit pastes], grated cheese, even grated boiled egg.

Sometimes, if I don’t have all the ingredients to make the gravy thick enough, I may boil very small pieces of macaroni or spaghetti in the spicy mutton stock to smoothen and thicken the gravy.

The gravy should be so luxuriant and lip-smacking yummy that you should want to chew your fingers!

I stir in the fragrantly spiced cooked boneless mutton pieces and thicken the gravy to baking consistency.

Now I thoroughly beat four eggs and delicately blend in half into the boneless mutton gravy till they merge well. Now I pour the mélange into a well-greased [with liberal quantity of pure ghee] baking tin, pour ghee on top and bake on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes till almost done.

Then, on top, I pour the remaining whisked egg mixture, add a dollop of pure ghee and bake till glazy and crusty. When ready, I garnish with fresh green coriander and juicy red tomato slices and dig in. I love it as it is, with fresh pav, or roti.

Dear Reader, you must have your own culinary discovery, but let me tell you that I find Dabba Gosht a superb eating experience – generous boneless mutton pieces, soft, juicy, succulent, releasing scrumptious flavor as they melt in my mouth and the yummy, delectable luxuriously thick white gravy made rich, wholesome and nutritious by the sumptuous combination of ingredients like cashew (kaju) paste, fresh cream and eggs.

It is a rare and magnificent eating experience which makes my mouth water even as I write this.

Dabba Gosht is a supreme feast fit for the kings!

Next time you eat out; scan the menu for Dabba Gosht. You’ll surely find it at a few select places in Mumbai. I’ve once savored an excellent Dabba Gosht at Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar near Metro where I think they don’t bake it but “dum” cook it, leaving the gravy a bit less thick, so you can enjoy it with roti – it was delicious with kameeri roti. I’ve also chanced upon a decent Dabba Gosht at Sadanand in Pune, located opposite Balewadi, at the junction of Baner Road and Katraj Bypass, and I found it excellent.

Wherever you are, search for Dabba Gosht, or cook the exquisite dish yourself, bake it, dum cook it, enrich it, play around with the ingredients, improvising, experimenting, improving the recipe, and then relish it to your heart’s content. And don’t forget to tell us all about it!

If you want to relish more such delicious recipes and enjoy reading mouthwatering foodie adventures please do read my book APPETITE FOR A STROLL – to know more just click the links below:

Happy Eating!


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009



[ A Quick Simple Delicious Rich Creamy Sweet and Spicy Chicken Gravy Recipe ]



[ Here is a recipe from my mouthwatering Foodie Adventures Book APPETITE FOR A STROLL ]

Here is a simple recipe for a delicious melt-in-the-mouth chicken dish, different from the run-of-the-mill curries and gravies, which you can rustle up in a jiffy - "chop-chop".

Clean and cut a small broiler chicken into small pieces.

Slice two onions into rings.

Heat oil in a pan, add a teaspoon of sugar and brown it.

Now add a few cloves [lavang], green cardamom [elaichi], cinnamon, peppercorns. Wait for a moment till they crackle a bit and add the onion rings, stir a bit, add the chicken pieces, and continue sautéing till the onion rings are golden brown.

Add a pinch of red chilli powder [more if you like it hot], and fry for some time till the chicken pieces look nice and browned.

Now pour in a cup of tomato ketchup, place the lid on the pan, and simmer on a slow fire for around ten minutes or more till the chicken pieces are succulent and tender.

At this stage, you must sample the chicken to ascertain whether it is fully cooked, and also taste the gravy and add salt to taste, and stir in some more chilli powder if you want it hotter. Let simmer for a moment longer and gently blend in a cup of whipped cream and cook, without lid, stirring very tenderly, watching the bubbles, for just a few minutes till the cream fully intermingles and smoothens into the gravy. [If you want, you can thin down the gravy a bit by blending in some milk and simmering on slow fire with lid open for a while, but take care that the gravy doesn’t curdle].

Relish hot with fresh soft pav, buns or bread. Dip the pav generously in the gravy, put it on your tongue, close your eyes and revel in gastronomic bliss. Then press a piece of the succulent mouthwatering chicken between your tongue and palate and savor the heavenly experience as the delicious chicken releases its mellifluous fragrance, spicy aroma and luscious juices as it dissolves on your tongue and melts in your mouth.

Isn’t this a yummy recipe breathtaking in its simplicity? And you can make it "chop-chop" in a jiffy, isn't it?

Dear Reader, Fellow Foodie, why don’t you try it tonight and tell us all about it!


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009 Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Dear Foodie - if you want to relish more such delights and enjoy appetizing food writing why don't you get a copy of APPETITE FOR A STROLL by just clicking the links below:

Vikram Karve

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yummy Holi Treat - Malpua and Kheer


Malpua & Kheer



[ An delicious excerpt from my mouthwatering Foodie Adventures Book APPETITE FOR A STROLL ]

Whilst on my evening walk on ITI Road in Aundh Pune last winter I ducked into the basement of the Ozone Mall where I discovered a sweet shop called Kadhai. The voracious appetite created by the brisk walk and the tempting array of sweets and savouries on display made my mouth water and created an appetite in me, and I was wondering what to eat, when suddenly I discovered one of my favourite sweets “Malpua” displayed on the Menu Chart hung on the wall.

This was indeed a pleasant surprise [since I never imagined I would get Malpua in Pune] and brought back nostalgic mouth-watering memories of the delicious Malpua-Kheer we savoured and devoured with gusto as a nourishing wholesome breakfast after bouts of heavy exercise on cold winter Sunday mornings long back in Varanasi.

Those were indeed the good old gastronomic days of high calorie energizing winter breakfasts like Malpua-Kheer and piping hot Jalebi or Lavang Lata with freshly boiled thick creamy Doodh [Milk] dipped and eaten the same way as one eats khari biscuits with Irani Chai.

I asked for Malpua and Kheer, but there was no Kheer, so I ordered a plate of Malpua and eagerly put a piece of the rich brown syrupy Malpua in my mouth.

It was terrible – the Malpua tasted like boiled rubber drenched in sugar syrup. It did not melt in the mouth, or dissolve gracefully on the palate, but disintegrated into brittle fragments and left a stodgy aftertaste.

The soft fluffy succulent lusciousness, the sweet-sour tang of banana and curd fermentation, the spicy fragrance of cardamom, and most important, the distinctive taste and classic flavour of saunf [badishep] which is the hallmark of authentic Malpua, were conspicuous by their absence.

I was so disappointed that I called the “Maharaj” and asked him how he had managed to bungle and botch this exquisite delicacy and churn out this inexcusably appalling stuff masquerading as Malpua.“Simple,” he said, “Boil enough Milk till it becomes Rabdi, mix in Maida and make a smooth batter, fry the pancakes in pure Ghee and soak in sugar syrup.”

“Just Milk and Maida? That’s not how you make Malpua,” I told him, “What about the Banana, Saunf, Cardamom, Spices, Coconut, Dry Fruit, Curds…?”
“This is the Rajasthani Style Malpua,” he said sheepishly and disappeared.

There are many versions of Malpua all over India – I have tasted the Rajasthani, Bengali, Karnataka, Maharashtrian, Gujarati, MP and UP versions.

Then there are improvisations like potato malpua, pineapple malpua, orange malpua et al. There is also the inimitable, slurpy rich heavy duty invigorating and energizing hearty Malpua, braced and fortified with eggs, prepared in the evenings and nights during the holy month of Ramzan by Suleman Mithaiwala at Mohammed Ali Road near Minara Masjid in Mumbai. It is a meal in itself, but if you want you really want to do justice it is better to start off with Kababs, relish the Malpua, and top up with cool sweet soothing Phirnee.

Tell me, in which genre of cuisine should Malpua be classified? I’ll tell you – genuine Malpua is Bihari Cuisine. That’s right, no doubt about it, Malpua is a speciality of Bihar, like Khaja, and the best authentic Malpua is made Bihari Style, and this is how a Bihari friend of mine, an expert cook, taught me to make Malpua, long back.

Make a smooth batter with Maida, pinch of soda and salt, banana pulp, milk, cardamom [choti elaichi] pods and powder, a small pinch of nutmeg powder, freshly grated coconut, powdered and whole saunf, beaten curds and water. Beat well with your hands till the batter becomes light and fluffy. Cover and leave aside for an hour or more for a bit of fermentation.

Prepare 1:1 sugar syrup seasoned with cardamom and cloves. Sprinkle a little rosewater, saffron or essence, if you want. Keep the syrup hot, at least warm, to facilitate easy ingress into the malpua and to keep it soft and succulent.

Now mix and whip well with your hands, adding water if required, to get a smooth batter of pouring consistency, and deep-fry the pua [pancake] in pure ghee till nice and brown, soft and cooked, not too crisp. When ready take out the fried pua , drain excess ghee, and dip the pua in the hot sugar syrup completely for a minute to enable just enough permeation but obviate over-sogginess. With the sugar syrup absorbed, the pua has now become malpuaand is ready to be eaten with deliciously sweet lip smacking Kheer. [Now don’t tell me you don’t know how to make delicious Kheer!]

Malpua must be eaten with Kheer. This is not a dessert, a pudding, or a snack, but a complete nourishing breakfast in its entirety. The luscious wholesome combination is heavenly and you will be overwhelmed with a wonderful feeling of blissful satiation.

Dear Fellow Foodie - Start your Holi celebrations with Malpua and Kheer and you'll have a yummy sweet happy Holi - you can take my word for it!

Dear Foodie - if you want to relish more such delights and enjoy appetizing food writing why don't you get a copy of APPETITE FOR A STROLL by just clicking the links below:



Copyright © Vikram Karve 2009 Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.