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


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!

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