Category: Explore

The dish for the Kings – Gushtaba

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Kashmir, which is rightly called as “Paradise on Earth” has been endowed with the most implausible beauty. Surrounded by exquisite mighty mountains, the valleys of Kashmir echoe nature, beauty and a certain level of mysticism which seem to overshadow its authentic cuisine that has evolved through many generations but hasn’t failed to retain the original flavour of the traditional dishes. Kashmiri cuisine is essentially known to be a blend of three cooking styles- that of Mughals, Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits. Each one produces lip-smacking dishes which are full of rich flavour and aroma.

One such traditional delicacy of Kashmir is Gushtaba which is popularly known as “The dish for the kings” and is the last meat dish served right before dessert in the ultimate formal banquet known as Wazwan. The main elements of the dish include minced mutton or lamb, grounded spices cooked in yogurt gravy. It is a delicious dinner option and may be served to guests during house parties as well! Everybody’s taste buds are sure to thank you for this scrumptious treat. Let’s get into how the dish is made:

Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
Recipe Servings 4
Difficulty Level Medium

 

Ingredients of Gushtaba:

1 Kg Boneless meat (from the leg of the lamb)

1 Cup meat fat

1 Cup Mustard Oil

2 Cups Milk

1 Cup Curd

6 Cups Water

5 pieces Green Cardamom

2 Bay leaves

2 Cloves

3 Brown Cardamoms

1 Large Cinnamon stick

1 tsp Ginger Powder

3 tsp Fennel Powder

2 tsp Dried mint

1 tsp Asafoetida

Salt to taste

 

 

How to prepare the dish:

  1. Pound the boneless meat on a smooth stone with a wooden mallet. Add the meat fat and pound it well.
  2. Add brown cardamom powder, ginger powder and salt, keep on pounding till you get the smooth pulp out of it.
  3. Make round balls 2 to 3 inches in diameter and leave aside.
  4. Keep them separate from each other.
  5. Heat oil in a large vessel, and then add a little salt and asafoetida to it.
  6. Beat curd in a jug, add to the oil and keep on stirring till it really mixes well.
  7. Add water and rest of the whole and powdered spices and milk together and bring the gravy to boil.
  8. Add meat balls one by one to the boiling gravy.
  9. Cook for one hour on medium flame, & simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with mint and serve with boiled rice.

Receipe Credits – Srishti Walia

Notes:

Ensure that the meat used for the dish is fresh. Traditionally, the meat has to be beaten with a wooden mallet on a flat and smooth surfaced stone or slab. The meat fat is added to it while pounding. The key ingredients of this dish are the boneless meat (from the leg of the lamb), meat fat and all the spices mentioned in the ingredients list. Kindly refrain from adding replacement ingredients to maintain the deliciously authentic aroma and flavour of the dish.

Are you drooling? Then waste no more time and have this sumptuous meal this week!

Everything Single Malt

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COVID 19 hit us and a barrage of health tips came into your phone, one of which said drinking whiskey or vodka can help build immunity against the virus. We at Go Magic Trails came up with an idea. During times when you are self-quarantined and your city is under lockdown, it is the right time to up your knowledge game. So, we decided to bring in interesting pieces of information about whiskey and then take you on a virtual tour of how single malts are made.

History 

The process of whiskey making can be traced back to the Mesopotamian civilization. From there, the knowledge travelled across to the European continent into monasteries and finally made it’s way into Scotland & Ireland around the 13th century. An hour’s drive from Edinburgh is a small town called Newburgh. On the outskirts of Newburgh is Lindores Abbey, the birthplace of whiskey in Scotland. It can be traced back to 1494 & is the oldest noted evidence of distilling. Britain fell in love with this drink that is described as liquid sunshine.

Scots perfected the art of distilling what they had in abundance, which was grain. Unlike Europe, which grew grapes and wine making became an integral part of the culture itself, whiskey making developed in a very unique way in Scotland. The fresh soft water and the weather in Scotland were highly conducive to the manufacturing of what the world knows as Scotch Whiskey.

Composition of Whiskies

  • Single Malt – made exclusively with malted barley, water and yeast in one distillery.
  • Grain – grain is the main ingredient here, this whiskey is made of corn, wheat or both.
  • Blended – as the name suggests, this is a blend of both grain & malt whiskies.

The Process of Single Malt

The process of whiskey making can be defined in three major steps:

  • Malting & Mashing
  • Fermenting & Distilling
  • Maturing & Release

For a whiskey to be called Scotch Single Malt, the drink must be made from malted barley, be aged for no less than three years and made in Scotland.

Indian Single Malts

Did you know?

  • Eight of the top 10 bestselling whiskies in the world are Indian
  • India’s climate means more water evaporates during maturation than in Scotland so the ABV rises
  • Indian whiskey sold outside the EU is usually made mainly of molasses (like rum!) Technically, this does not qualify it be called whiskey at all, according to specialists and experts.

Amrut Distilleries and John Paul have mesmerized the whiskey world with their peated and non-peated varieties of whiskies. Jim Murray’s Third Finest Whisky in the World for 2010, Amrut Fusion is distilled from barley from Scotland and India, making this a true fusion of countries. The single malt from Amrut is made of barley grown in north west India and matured in New American Oak and ex-bourbon before bottling. The Paul John Classic Select Cask is an unpeated single malt whisky produced by John Distilleries in Goa. It has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled without chill-filtration at cask strength.

The Virtual Tour

We now take you on a virtual tour of Laphroaig & Glenfiddich, two of our favourite single malts. Enjoy the tour!

 

 

Reviving the delicacy : Chicken Dak Bungalow

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One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. The lost and forgotten chicken dak bungalow is sure to be a treat for your tastebuds! This recipe takes back to the colonial times and is a huge part of Anglo-Indian culture.

Historically this curry is said to have been prepared in the dak bungalows or the resting houses of Calcutta where the British government officials, postmen, and sometimes guests would come to rest during their official trips, hunting expedition or during a night stay between journeys.

During their stay in the bungalows the caretakers, then known as khansamahs, used to prepare meals with the local fresh produce in a country style cooking. The curry was not about elaborate cooking or exotic spices, but about availability, simplicity and usage of basic ingredients as this dish was usually made without prior intimation about the guest coming. Since most dak bungalows had their own poultry and herd of goats this curry would use fresh curd, eggs and chicken. A standard meal would include steamed rice, dal, green salad, vegetable curry or a stir fry of veggies, along with the wholesome chicken curry and something sweet, usually a custard.

The addition of eggs and the use of whole spices was the speciality in this colonial recipe. Grinding the spices with a little bit of water and using that spice paste instantly for cooking was the most common in old style Bengali cooking. Spices like cumin, coriander, and red chillies were always used in making the spice paste. This type of curry comes with a whole boiled egg and potatoes in it. It’s a simple and hearty Chicken Curry which goes well with steamed rice but can be served with Roti as well.

The curry recipe may vary depending on the availability of ingredients from one dak bungalow to the other. Unfortunately this dak bungalow cuisine is a near forgotten culinary treasure that survives amongst the few remaining khansamah families and Anglo-Indian households.

Thanks to some Kolkata based restaurants, these dak bungalow style curries are gaining it’s popularity back!