The lost recipes of festive feast
The way we celebrate festivals has changed over time. What used to be a grand affair not so long ago, is now more intimate and personal. And delicacies that took hours to prepare and had a distinct aroma and flavour to them, are now replaced with quick and ready to eat variants. The festival of Eid ul-Adha today, reminds one of many such great dishes that have been part of the celebrations for generations.
“We used to wait entire year to eat bakra musallam (the grilled goat). It was an intricate process; the whole goat was marinated and then grilled in a pit. The meat was shared by the entire community. Now families are nuclear and everyone celebrates it in the close circle and that’s why community dishes are on the verge of extinction,” says Osama Jalali, chef and restaurateur, adding, “All the grilled items used to be the speciality of this Eid. Mutton parchey (fine thin lamb slices, marinated and grilled) used to be another popular dish. Kacche kimme ki tikiya (minced meat kebab) and fresh organ meat such as kaleji were equally popular. One recipe that everyone loved in Rampura cuisine and is completely lost now is gosht ka halwa..”
Dahi pakori, or dahi phulki as it is called in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, is also an Eid treat, says food historian and author Anoothi Vishal. “I’d look forward to not just the dahi bada aunty served but also the dry fried seviyan full of dried fruit. While many people know of seviyan cooked in milk, the dry ones, roasted in ghee with sugar and dried fruit are decadent,” she says.
It’s all about mutton biryani, mutton qorma, or those frozen packet kebabs now, says food blogger, Sarah Hussain. “My nani, Christina Khan, one of the finest cook I have seen, told me that people have almost forgotten how delicious it is to eat mutton stew, lamb leg roast, bihari boti, kafta kebab and lohori karahi,” she says.
Remembering his favourite dishes that are rarely cooked now, chef Anees Khan, says, “Dum or Kimami Seviyan, sweet vermicelli dum cooked with sugar, saffron, nuts and mawa still make me fall on my knees. Traditional sheer kurma which takes six-seven hours to prepare, slow cooked kacchay ghost ki biryani are least known now. More often people on festival days order food from the local caterer) and the tradition of passing down recipes is dying a slow death.”
Gosht Ka Halwa
Ingredients250 gms mutton mince fine1500 ml milk200 gm ghee5 table spoon green cardamom powder200 gm khoyasugar to tasteSaffron water half litre Almonds and cashew and pistachio
StepsIn a heavy bottom pan Boil 500 ml of milk with3 tbsp cardamom powderOnce it comes to boil add the fine paste of meat and let it boil together. After 15 minutes strain the milk .Blend the minced meat along with 1 cup of milk into a smooth paste After that fine sieve the mince meat and add back in a heavy bottom pan Heat ghee in a kadai and add the paste of meat with remaining milk Cook on a medium heat till it turns brown.Add saffron, cardamom powder and sugar and continue to cook on slow heat for almost an hour.Add khoya and nuts and gain cook for half an hourCook till it start leaving side and ghee floats Serve hot garnished with nuts
Recipe by chef, Osama Jalali
Put tez pata, cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger garlic paste in hot oil, and add your mutton pieces, fry it for a few minutes. Now add 2tsp red Chili powder, 1tsp coriander powder, 1/4th tsp turmeric, 1/2 cup yogurt, and 1tsp garam masala and fry it till oil separates. Add a punch of jaifal, cardamom, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin powder and 3 cups of water and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 hours. Add 2tsp flour, dissolved with 4tsp water and cook for another 10mins. Garnish with coriander leaves, ginger, chilies, and onions. You family will love it.
Recipe by chef, Christina Khan
Author tweets @ruchikagarg271