Gosht nu Buffat

Gosht is mutton/lamb.
Buffat (pronounced buh-fart, fart, without the ‘r’… buh-faah-t, may be. I don’t want to make dirty jokes.) is a typically Gujarati word that is used in the context of someone screwing up. Here, it means, a mish mash of all things good (and bad?)… a fantasticly, deliciously, amazingly insane stew.

Ingredients:
1. 1/2 kg lamb (I usually pick shoulder pieces)
2. Two large onions, roughly chopped
3. 1 large carrot, roughly chopped (optional)
4. A couple of teaspoons of salt
5. 1 cup grated coconut
6. 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
7. 3 green chilies, roughly chopped
8. 4-6 dried red chilies, whole
9. 2 tsp cumin seeds
10. 2 tsp coriander seeds
11. 10 almonds
12. 8 cardamoms
13. 9 cloves
14. 2 sticks cinnamon
15. 1 tsp turmeric
16. 1-2 tsp of vinegar
17. Water, as required
18. A couple of handfuls of fried onions (if you don’t have fried onions, I’ve included a quick recipe on how you can fry some, at the end of this post)
19. 3-4 small potatoes, halved
20. A cup of green peas (optional)
21. Ghee, as required
22. 1-2 Hard boiled eggs (optional)

Method:
1. Pressure cook the mutton with the roughly chopped onions, the carrot, some salt and some water. I cooked the mutton on high flame, until the first whistle went off and then I put the flame on low and let the meat tenderize for a good 30-40 minutes.
2. In a separate pan, roast the spices (ingredients 5 through 15) in a little bit of ghee (clarified butter).
3. Add the fried onions and cook for a few more minutes.
4. Throw these into a blender and reduce to a powder. Add the vinegar and a little water, if required, and continue to grind/blend to a smooth paste.
5. Mix this paste into the pressure cooker, add the peas, potatoes and some more water and pressure cook on a low flame for another 30 minutes or so.
6. Garnish with hard boiled eggs, if at all.

The Parsis love eggs. bheenda par eenda (eggs on bhindi/ladyfinger sabzi) is something I grew up eating. And utterly loved. Come to think of it, that’s how we eat poached eggs too, right? On a patty of meat or a filet of fish or a bed of spinach. It’s just that poached eggs aren’t fried and fried eggs aren’t poached.

And potatoes cooked with mutton are a personal favourite too. A few recipes might call for the potatoes to be boiled. But pressure cooking with some water and the masala and the juices from the meat gives you perfect potatoes. I don’t even skin the potatoes, really. Just cut them in halves, and throw them into the pot I’m cooking mutton in. Delicious! And how!!! And my parents, who’re not really too fond of lamb, are more than happy to eat just the curry and all the potatoes. They’re *that* good.

Oh, the fried onions. If you don’t have fried onions at your disposal, like I do, thanks to the wonder-woman my mum is, all you need to do is fry thinly sliced onions until they are golden brown, dry them own on a paper towel and use them in the recipe.

The recipe is very heavy on spices. It is hot, not from the green or the red chillies, but from the dry spices. You could add more coconut or more almonds, to tone that down. However, I think the beauty of the recipes lies in the amalgamation (big word, w0ot!) of the spices. Eat the curry/stew with a couple of slices of bread or with steamed rice and some onions and a dash of lime and it’s probably the best thing you will have eaten in a long time.

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