Friday, June 27, 2008


PAYA NAHARI ( نہاری )
[Pakistani and Indian Muslim sheep-trotter stew, usually eaten for breakfast with flaky roti.]

Eight sheep's trotters, well-scrubbed.
Eight marrow bones.
Two large or three medium onions, chopped.
Three or four cloves garlic, minced.
A generous thumb of ginger, minced.
One Tablespoon ground coriander.
Half a Tablespoon cayenne.
One teaspoon ground cumin.
Half a teaspoon turmeric.
One teaspoon garam masala (Sindhi style - it is more fragrant).
Half a teaspoon salt.
Three or four whole black cardamom pods (bari elaichi).
Three or four whole star anise.
Three or four Jalapeňos, left whole.
A generous handful or two of chopped cilantro, or cilantro and parsley mixed.

Brown the onions in ghee or oil. Add the garlic and ginger, gild, then add the ground coriander, cumin, and turmeric. Stir till fragrant. Stir in the remaining spices and salt, put the trotters and marrow bones in the pan along with the whole green chilies, cover with plenty of water or meat broth, and simmer for several hours. Put in the chopped herbs to wilt with a little extra garam masala for fragrance. Serve with wedges of lime on the side for squeezing over, plus chopped green chili for heat.

It should be soupy. Feel free to slurp the soft meat off the bones.

Note I: It benefits from a long period on low heat. You could place it in the oven or on the blech overnight and have it for breakfast.

Note II: The Jalapeňos are left whole, so that they may impart their fragrance. You could eat them alongside the nahari - they will have mellowed considerably after cooking.

Note III: For broth or stock, added in lieu of water, I like to take shank bones, rub 'em with a little olive oil, and roast them dark in the oven, then simmer them with scrap mutton for a few hours. It yields a flavourful browned-bone broth which combines nicely with spices.

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