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!
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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.