Recipe contributed by Farideh Dotivala
Farideh is a speech and drama teacher who loves having delicious food. She loves experimenting in the kitchen, which is why she subconsciously also married a chef. Farideh is now hoping to pass on this same fondness for food to her sons.
Along with our Dhansak, I don’t know of a single Parsi who doesn’t relish our signature Gosht & Kebab Pulao. Served on all special occasions such as birthdays, new years and weddings, this is one recipe that every Bawi Bride must master.
I have very fond memories of making this signature Gosht & Kebab Pulao with my mum and elder sisters. For us, the preparations used to start two days before the Pulao was to be eaten as in those days we even used to make the yogurt at home – half for the mutton to marinate in and the other half to make a yummy raita to serve with the pulao.
I still remember the milk always coming in double the needed quantity on the days we had to make the yogurt. As a small child, I would perpetually forget to watch over the boiling milk which would then overflow and lead to “double kaam” for mummy and no leftover kebabs from the pulao for me.
A day before the pulao was to be eaten, mummy would order fresh mutton from her local butcher and then supervise the cutting of the pieces at the door. I would be tasked with cleaning the mutton while my mom or sisters used the mixer grinder to make the pulao masala. If I think about it, I don’t know, what I used to look forward to more, cooking this Pulao with my mum or having it with my family.
In those days we didn’t have onion choppers, so cutting the onions was the last thing either of us wanted to do. Everything used to be done, but the poor onions were always left. Mum would wait to see if any of us would volunteer but in the end she would end up cutting them herself. We used to cook this Pulao a lot during winters as it was a wholesome dish to be had, especially when the chilled raita was added to the hot hot rice.
Of all Parsi recipes, this one is my favourite as it has all the ingredients I love – rice, meat, potatoes and eggs. When all these get together I get my favourite Gosht & Kebab Pulao. In fact, if we have any friends coming over to our place, they openly tell me to only cook this for dinner and not even bother with any other dish.
More than the taste however, for me the joy is in the memories associated with making this Pulao. As a mom, I am now trying to share the same joy with my sons. Much to my surprise, they too enjoy helping me out in the kitchen! I hope you enjoy this signature recipe and make some Pulao at your home too.
Farideh's Gosht & Kebab Pulao
- 1 kg mutton cut into large pieces
- 500 gram basmati rice
- 250 gram onions, finely chopped
- 500 gram curd
- 250 gram tomatoes, boiled, peeled & pureed
- 450 gram ghee
- 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
- 0.5 tsp saffron
- 2 tsp milk
- Salt to taste
- 1.5 inch ginger
- 10 cloves garlic
- 6 large dark green chillies
- 0.5 packet Bombay Biryani Masala (Shaan)
- 500 gram mince, mutton
- 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
- 3 green chillies finely chopped
- 0.5 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 0.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 4 bread slices (small sized), soaked in water and squeezed dry
- 1 egg
- 0.25 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
- Oil for frying
- Wheat flour for rolling the kababs
- 5 eggs
- 400 gram potatoes, cut into halves
- 30 almonds
- 200 gram cashew pieces
- 100 gram fried onions
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and allow the mixture to marinate for an hour.
- Make tiny ping-pong sized balls, roll in the wheat flour and deep fry till golden brown.
- Hard boil the eggs. Peel and slice in half lengthwise and set aside.
- Blanch the almonds, peel them and slice thinly lengthwise.
- In a kadhai, warm up the ghee until it has melted and is hot.
- Fry the almonds and the cashews one at a time in the ghee and set aside.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Deep fry the potatoes until golden brown.
- Optional: If you're not using ready-made fried onions (birista), you can thinly slice 4 - 5 big onions and also fry these in the ghee once the dry fruits have been fried. Do this last as the onions will release a lot of moisture into the fat.
- Grind together all the ingredients for the pulao masala
- Wash the meat and coat it in the pulao masala, coriander, salt and curd. Marinate for atleast 2 hours while you prepare all the above garnishes or preferably overnight.
- Take half the quantity of ghee used to fry the garnishes and heat it up. Fry the chopped onions until soft.
- Now, add in the tomatoes and allow the mix to cook for 10 minutes.
- Add in the meat and cook this in the pressure cooker along with very little water for 3 whistles and 15 minutes on slow until the meat is tender.
- Meanwhile, boil the rice with some salt until parboiled. Drain off the water.
- Dry roast the saffron, warm the milk in the microwave and soak the saffron in the milk.
- Now it is time to layer the pulao. Use a wide vessel which is not too deep. Spread half the meat, then half the rice and half the fried potatoes. Top it with 2 tablespoons of the leftover ghee and half the saffron. Repeat the same again.
- Cover the vessel tightly with foil and then the lid. Place it on a tava and allow the rice to cook for another 10 - 15 minutes until the rice is fully cooked.
- At the time of serving, garnish the pulao with the fried kebabs & nuts as well as any coriander or mint you may have left over.
- Serve the pulao with some raita. For the true Parsi experience you can also have it topped with a vegetarian Dhansak Dal often referred to in Parsi terminology as masala dal.
This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.