“Gar Firdaus bar-rue zamin ast, hami asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” - Emperor Jehangir
It is not just the landscape beauty of Kashmir that stays with you. For those who no longer live where their soul exists, we carry it in the food we cook. The Kashmiri Chokhta is one of the simplest things to make and that is what I am sharing today with you. Try it. You won't regret the taste, I promise.
Here is what you need:
1 kg lamb cleaned and cut into medium pieces (shoulder piece works best, especially upper shoulder)
Asafoetida (hing) - 2 to 3 pinches (that's about 1/3 tsp)
1/2 cup oil (300 ml) - you may use vegetable oil - Kashmiris like to use mustard oil
2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (heaped tsp - I prefer milder heat so I kept that to 1.5 tsp
1.5 tsp ginger powder (sonth)
1.5 cups water ( I used 2 cups because I like the lamb well cooked)
So, here we go...I listened to some music while i got down to this...and had a lot of free time in between as well (which I totally like)
Take a heavy bottom pan. Add the lamb, water, oil and hing.
Bring to boil on high heat. Cover and simmer on low heat (stirring once in a while) until the lamb is cooked and the water turns completely dry.
The oil should begin to surface by then. This takes about 20-25 minutes depending on the quantity of water you have put.
Once the oil has surfaced and the lamb looks cooked and soft enough (as per your preference), you've got to station yourself now to keep working at it.
Keep stirring until the lamb browns and feels a little crunchy to touch. (Be careful to not burn your finger)
Take the red chilli powder in a small bowl, add a little hot water to it and mix well.
Add it to the roasting lamb and keep stirring until the water dries up.
The colour will begin to look redder now as compared to the lovely brown you had before.
Keep stirring until it begins to be crispy again.
Once the oil begins to shed again, add the ginger powder. Stir well until it is fully blended onto the lamb.
Turn off and serve with hot rice or roti.
(p.s) If you are having rice and do want some more gravy, just add half cup hot water to it and stir well.
Enjoy! And do let me know how it turned up.