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Further recipes and interview in Chaat! issue 28

NEHARI

LAMB NEHARI

Regarded as the national dish of Pakistan, nehari is known for its piquancy

and texture. The name has its origins in Arabic and means ‘day’ or ‘morning’

and it was typically served to kings and nobility around sunrise, after the

Muslim early morning Fajr prayer. The Mughals brought it to the Indian

subcontinent and it soon became a nationwide tradition among the Muslims.

The dish comprises slow-cooked large, tender shanks or pieces of beef,

mutton or lamb and, while not completely authentic, even chicken. Known

for its spiciness, it is a delicious curry with a thick, flavoursome sauce that is

often sold with naan fresh from the tandoor in specialist restaurants and

roadside cafes early in the morning, particularly on weekends.

 

SERVES 4

2 medium onions, peeled and halved

120ml/4fl oz/1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

2 bay leaves

900g/2lb leg of lamb on the bone, cut into 7.5–10cm/3–4in cubes, or 3–4 medium lamb shanks

15ml/1 tbsp garam masala

15ml/1 tbsp ground coriander

10ml/2 tsp garlic pulp

10ml/2 tsp ginger pulp

5ml/1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

10ml/2 tsp ground fennel seeds

10ml/2 tsp paprika

30ml/2 tbsp tomato paste

7.5ml/11⁄2 tsp salt

1 litre/13⁄4 pints/4 cups water, plus 60ml/4 tbsp to make a flour paste

30ml/2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour

15ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

2 lemons, cut into wedges, to serve

naan or parathas, to serve

TO GARNISH

4–6 fresh green chillies, chopped

45ml/3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

45ml/3 tbsp peeled and finely sliced fresh root ginger

 

1 Process the onions in a food processor to form a pulp.

2 Heat 60ml/4 tbsp of the oil in a very large pan over a medium heat and fry the

bay leaves for about 30 seconds. Add the meat, followed by the garam masala.

Fry for about 5 minutes, to seal the meat.

3 Add the ground coriander, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, ground fennel seeds,

paprika and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the salt and stir once more,

then remove from the heat.

4 In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil over a medium heat, add the pulped

onion and fry for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

5 Add the onion pulp to the lamb and combine everything together. Pour in the

water, return to the heat and bring to the boil.

6 Reduce the heat to low and cook for 45–60 minutes, checking occasionally and

stirring. The curry is ready once the liquid has reduced by at least half and the

meat is tender and falling off the bone.

7 Dissolve the flour in the 60ml/4 tbsp water, whisking it well to make a smooth

paste. Pour this over the lamb while slowly and gently stirring the curry. Cook for

a further 7–10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick.

8 Using a ladle, transfer the curry to a serving dish, or individual deep plates if

using shanks – allowing one per person. Serve garnished with chillies, fresh

coriander, and ginger, and accompany with lemon wedges, and naan or parathas.

The Food and Cooking of Pakistan: Traditional Dishes From The Home Kitchen by Shehzad Husain (HB, Lorenz Books, Dec-16, £14.99) is available now on Amazon.co.uk

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Something for the weekend ahead. A cuisine in its own right, food writer Sumayya Jamil explores Pakistan’s rich culinary history.

CHICKEN YAKHNI PULLAO

This is a rice dish that was always cooked on Sundays in my home. It’s warm, comforting and a complete meal on its own. The whole garam masala is added to the chicken with water create a stock – ‘yakhni’ which the rice and chicken both cook in. It’s best enjoyed with a simple raita made yoghurt, with salt, sugar, red chilli powder and fresh coriander and cucumber.
Serves 1
Ingredients
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
2-4 medium onions, chopped into half rings
1 inch ginger, grated
1 tbsp fresh garlic paste
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 green chilli (optional)
500 g whole skinless chicken, with bone, cut into 12 pieces
400 g whipped natural yogurt
500 g basmati rice, washed and rinsed then soaked for 30 minutes before cooking
Whole garam masalas:
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 medium cinnamon stick
1 tsp aniseed
1 tsp cloves
1 black large cardamom
3-4 green cardamom
How to cook
 Heat about 2-3 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and once the oil is hot pop in the garam masalas and allow to fry until you can smell their aroma (do not allow to burn!).
 Now add the onion half rings and fry on medium-low heat until caramelized and brown – this is important as these add sweetness to the rice and create the flavour for the yakhni (stock for the rice to cook in).
 Once the onions are brown add the ginger and garlic paste and cook until the raw garlic smell escapes. Now add the yoghurt and fry until the yoghurt dries up a bit.
 Add the chicken and fry until sealed, then drain rice and fry for a couple of minutes. Pop in the green chilli now (if desired). Add enough water to just about cover the rice and chicken and turn the heat low.
 Cover and cook in “dam”, under steam for about 10-15 minutes until the rice and just cooked. The liquid should be completely absorbed. Fluff up the rice in between cooking to avoid the rice from sticking to the pan. Use a fork! Finally, Serve with a cool raita.

Archive Chaat! Magazine Issue 11

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