Further recipes and interview in Chaat! issue 28
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.
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
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