​​Ghushtaba - pounded mutton meatballs in a yoghurt gravy

PT2H15M

First published in 2022
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Romy says: "Often served at wedding celebrations and restaurants, ghushtaba is also an important part of the wazwan. Simple meatballs are simmered in a yoghurt-based gravy, in a flavoursome dish known by Kashmiri Muslims as ‘The Dish of Kings’."

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

For the meatballs

  • 600g of goat leg, or use mutton or lamb leg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of lard, or used ghee or rapeseed oil

For the stock

For the shallot paste

For the gravy

1

For the meatballs, remove any fat from the meat and reserve the bones for the stock.

  • 600g of goat leg, or use mutton or lamb leg
2

Cut the meat into pieces and rub with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt

3

Place the meat on a wooden board (or smooth stone) and pound with a wooden mallet. Remove any pieces of sinew and keep pounding until the texture and colour of the meat
resembles pâté

4

Add the lard, ghee or oil and continue to pound

  • 1 tbsp of lard, or used ghee or rapeseed oil
5

Finally, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pound until everything is well combined and the meat has a paste-like texture. Alternatively, use a food processor to blitz it all to a fine paste

6

Divide the mixture and shape into 4 large balls with wet hands

7

For the stock, place the bones in a large pan and add the water, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon and salt

8

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until the stock is reduced by half to 500ml. Remove and discard any scum that comes to the top. Once reduced, set aside

9

Make shallot paste: Pour the ghee into a heavy-based saucepan and heat to 170°C/340°F on a digital thermometer. Alternatively, you can drop in a tiny piece of shallot: if it floats to the surface, then the ghee is hot enough; if it sinks, the ghee is not hot enough yet

10

Once the ghee is hot, add the chopped shallots in batches and fry until golden brown and crispy

  • 1kg shallots, peeled and finely chopped
11

Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool

12

When the crispy golden shallots have cooled down, grind to a fine paste with a pestle and mortar. You must have patience to get the right consistency. Keep grinding until the mixture changes colour to creamy white and the texture becomes like a paste. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, you can blitz in a blender, but the taste and texture won’t be the same. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use in dishes when required. It will keep for up to a week

13

To make the gravy, heat the ghee or oil in a separate large pan over a low heat. Add the whisked yoghurt and cook for 5 minutes, whisking continuously so that the mixture doesn’t curdle

14

Add the crushed garlic and 2 tsp shallot paste, along with the ground ginger and fennel. Now, add the meatballs, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring

15

Add the stock and cook for a further 15 minutes until the gravy thickens. Mix in the dried mint and leave to rest for 30 minutes. Resting helpings the broth to seep in the meatballs

  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
16

Serve hot, with steamed rice

First published in 2022
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