Friday, June 27, 2008


[Pakistani and Indian Muslim meat porridge for breaking the fast.]

Originally posted here:

Two cups wheat (whole grains).
Two cups masoor dal.
One cup dry chickpeas.
One and half pounds of lamb, cut into small chunks.
Three large onions, chopped fine.
Three to six cloves garlic, slivered.
A thumb of ginger, minced.
One Tablespoon cayenne.
Half a Tablespoon sweet paprika.
Half a Tablespoon cumin seeds (toast and grind).
Half a Tablespoon garam masala (Sindhi style - very fragrant).
One teaspoon turmeric.
One teaspoon salt.
Pinches of sugar (accentuates browning of ingredients).
Olive oil, samin, or ghee - your choice.
Juice of two or three lemons.
Generous handfuls of cilantro and parsley, plus a pluck of mint leaves. Finely minced.

Soak the grain, lentils, and chickpeas separately overnight. Drain, and cook separately with water to cover for an hour or so. Turn off heat and let cool.

Fry the onions golden (add a pinch sugar if needed), remove to a plate. Fry the garlic and ginger in the same pan, remove to a plate. Now decant most of the onion plus all of the fried garlic and ginger to the blender and pulp them (this is where the vigorously thrashing man came into play, in the days before blenders). Do the same with the lentils. And the chickpeas.

Put the spices in the pan with the onion puree and fry fragrant. Add the meat and turn to coat and brown well (again, pinch of sugar if needed). Add the grain, lentils, chickpeas, plus water to cover if necessary. Simmer for an hour or more on low, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. At this point the grains should be mushy enough that a wooden spoon held by a strong hand will break them apart; do so (this also is the work of male muscles). If some of the meat also breaks apart, excellent. The result should be a meaty porridge. Simmer a bit longer, then add the herbs to wilt, salt to taste, some fresh garam masala for aroma, and the lemon juice for tang. Garnish with the remaining fried onion and serve.

I usually add a few tablespoons of minced green chili on top for my own pleasure.

Note I:
In order to smoothen the mouth-feel or thicken the porridge, some corn-flour paste may be used. Add a few minutes before turning off the heat, at the same time as the herbs, and stir.

Note II:
If the grain is omitted, it will be a type of kichri.

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