FOOD STATION Two traditional recipes from Kashmiri cuisine, ideal for a fulsome wintry meal

With record breaking low winter temperatures sweeping through Delhi, it is the ideal time for meal lovers to try out some delicacies. And what better to have on the table than gushtaba and tabak maas from Kashmir! Chef Mujeebur Rehman, a specialist in Kashmiri cuisine, has shared with our readers here the recipes of these delicacies that he is preparing for diners at Singh Sahib, the Indian speciality restaurant at Eros Hotel managed by Hilton, these days.

Chef Mujeebur, along with his team of cooks from the Valley, is rolling out a whole lot of popular dishes like haak, rista, nadru yakhni, rogan josh, etc. at the restaurant till January 20 as part of a winter food promotion titled “Poush”. The word ‘poush’ means the flower of saffron which is pre-dominantly used in Kashmiri cuisine. The dishes are available both for lunch and dinner.



Boneless mutton —1 kg (makes 10 pieces of gushtaba)

Yoghurt – 1 litre

Desi ghee – 500 gm

Stock – 800 ml (made of 5-6 bones boiled in 6 cups of water, covered for 45 minutes and then strained) Green cardamoms — 8

Black cardamoms — 6

Sauf (fennel) powder — 6 gm

Garlic paste — 50 gm

Onion paste — 25 gm

Salt as per taste

Dry mint powder — 1/2 tsp

Fat – 4 tbsp

Green cardamom powder, a pinch


Take 500 gm fresh boneless meat from the leg of lamb, cut into small cubes. It should be without fat. Add 1/4 tbsp salt. Pound the meat on a smooth stone with a wooden mallet. While pounding, remove any white tough fibre that may appear. Add the fat and the green cardamom powder and continue to pound, turning it over with one hand, until the meat is very light in colour, becomes soft, and has a paste like texture. Add 1/4 tsp of salt and pound until it is well mixed. Make balls with the meat paste and keep aside. A 100 gm ball is ideal for gushtaba.

Whisk two cups of yoghurt until very smooth. Add half cup water and whisk again to make it a smooth blend. Pour the mixture in a pan and put onto high heat. Stir constantly till the mixture comes to boil. Reduce the heat to low, continue stirring until the mixture is reduced to half its original quantity and its colour has changed into off-white. This is called cooked yoghurt gravy for gushtaba.

In a pan, add the gushtaba, the cooked yoghurt, desi ghee and stock, bring to a rapid boil. Add the green and black cardamoms, cloves, fennel powder and dry ginger powder. Cover the pan and continue to boil for 10-12 minutes.

Add garlic paste, a bit of water and salt, boil further for 10 minutes. Add the onion paste. Cook until the gushtaba is tender to the touch and the gravy has thickened.

Sprinkle the dry mint on top and serve hot.

Tabak Maaz


Lamb ribs — 1kg (full fillet)

Water — 5-6 litre

Garlic paste — 50 gm

Salt — 15 gm

Cold water — 3 litre

Dry ginger powder — 5 gm

Clove — 8

Black cardamom — 8

Turmeric powder — 10 gm

Desi ghee — 500 gm


Bring the water to boil, add the ribs, continue to boil, removing the scum that rises to the surface. Repeat until the water is clear. Boil covered till the ribs are half done. Add garlic paste and mix well, continue to boil for another 10minutes. Add the salt and boil it covered, continuously until the membrane between the ribs can be pierced with the thumbs. Remove the pan from heat and drain the water. Cool the ribs in a pan with cold water and keep aside.

Chop the ribs with a chopper into rectangular pieces of 2*1 inches approximately.

Boil the water in which the ribs were washed. Add the chopped ribs, salt, dry ginger, cloves, black cardamom and turmeric powder, mix well. Let it boil until the bones can be extracted from the membranes easily. Remove the pan from heat and take out the ribs with a slotted spoon. Keep aside and discard the water.

Arrange the ribs in a large frying pan, so that they don’t overlap. Pour the desi ghee on them. Fry until they are reddish brown overall. Turn occasionally. Drain out the ghee before serving.

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