So Eid Al Adha is only about a week away. And in Canada it will be a double celebration for Muslims as the day before Eid is Thanks Giving. Now for those of you who are not quite aware of what exactly is Eid Al Adha, it is a religious celebration for Muslims. Some of you may know the story of Abraham (Prophet Ibrahim to Muslims) sacrificing his son. Well this celebration is in light of that sacrifice but instead of sacrificing a child, it is usually a sacrifice of an animal in the name of God. It coincides with the time of pilgrimage for Muslims. The meat from the sacrificed animal is distributed among three groups, one third is kept for the family to enjoy, one third is distributed amongst friends and family and one third is given to the poor so they too can enjoy a good meal at least once a year. Please note that, the sacrifice is only required by those who can financially afford it.
Anyway enough about the religious background. It is a time for celebration and since there is meat coming to every household, one does need to know how to cook them. Today I will share a very basic recipe for lamb but you can substitute beef or goat for it. I know in times of celebration, we want to make something special. Since recently have have had a few cousins go off to university with very limited knowledge of cooking, I decided to share a simple recipe for people just like them. Enjoy this simple recipe and wish you all a very happy Eid 🙂
Basic Lamb Curry
3 lbs Lamb, cut into pieces
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder, optional
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp all spice powder (optional)
2-3 bay leaves
2-3 small pieces of cinnamon
1/2 cup beresta, optional
1 large potato, cut into large pieces
1/2 tsp garam mashala powder (I usually make my own by grinding just cardamom and cinnamon)
Wash the meat well and place it in a strainer so that all the water is drained. Set aside.
In a pan, heat oil. Add cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon to the oil and fry for about 15-20 seconds or until fragrant but be careful not to burn them. Add the sliced onions and saute the onions until they are lightly golden. Add the ginger and garlic paste to the onion and fry for another 30 seconds. Now add cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, chili (if using), all spice powder and stir for until the spices are fragrant. Add a little water (about 1/4 cup) and cook in medium heat until the water evaporates and the oil separates from the spices. Add green chilies at this time, if you would like it to be hot. Add the meat and stir until the meat is well coated with the spice. Cook the meat like this for about 10 minutes but do not forget to stir the meat in between so as not to burn it. Add salt to the meat at this point.
Add enough water to the meat as you would like your gravy to be at the end of the cooking. Cover and cook the meat until it is half cooked. Now add your potatoes. And cook until the meat and the potatoes are fully cooked. Now sprinkle the garam masala and a few whole green chilies (for flavour and not heat) and cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, and garnish with beresta before serving. Serve hot with your choice of rice dish or roti or paratha.
- Even though I say that this is a lamb curry, substitute the lamb with beef or goat if you like and follow the same procedure.
- For variations, add some tomatoes when preparing your spices.
- You can also leave out the potatoes, if you like. But Bengalis tend to add potatoes to almost any dish.