Dhal Gosht (daal ghos,gost) is an ambrosial yet hearty – stew like dish made from pieces of lamb simmered in dhals and spice. Amma’s recipe for Dhal Ghost entailed using pieces of meat with large bones – those not fitting for her mutton curry. This frugal accumulation of mutton pieces was either used to make dhal ghost or mutton soup. Like Amma’s Wedding Dhal (Dhal and Brinal) recipe this recipe too involves braising the onions with ‘biryani spices’ i.e. bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom (elachi) and jeera (cumin seeds). At best the aroma of dhal gosht can be likened to that of lamb biryani.
The secret to making lip smacking dhal ghost lies in the technique of cooking the meat and the types of dhal used. First off – several varieties of lentils results in a richer dhal gosht. Although the dish can be made using regular split pea dhal-the taste and texture is much more flavoursome with added varieties of dhal including biryani dhal, moong dhal or dhals of choice.
Secondly- the meat should be browned prior to cooking the dish. This process drains off the excess fats and seals in the moisture in the meat. This helps achieve a succulent meat texture – once simmered with the dahls – the meat simply slips right off the bone.
Dhal Gosht Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 people
|500g Lamb meat cut into pieces||4 cardamom pods|
|1 cup yellow split peas (pea dhall)
½ cup moongh dhal
|1 tbs ginger and garlic|
|½ cup biryani dhal||1 tsp garam masala|
|¼ cup red lentils||2 tbs masala of choice or chilli powder|
|1 tsp turmeric powder
2 large onions, sliced
|½ tsp fennel seeds|
|2 tsp fennel seeds||1 medium tomato, chopped|
|3-4 sticks cinnamon||400ml water|
|2 tablespoons oil||2 tsp cumin seeds|
|1 tsp mustard seeds||2 sprigs curry leaves|
|½ tsp caraway seeds||2 cloves garlic|
|half teaspoon salt
4 bay leaves
- 1. Pre cook the dhals at least 3 or 4 hours before you intend cooking the Dhal Gosht.
- 2. Fry the meat on high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until slightly brown.
- 3. In a separate pan – toast the seed spices on medium heat. Set aside. Fry the onions and curry leaves in the fat from the meat (discard and use fresh oil if you prefer a helathy alternative). Add seeds (mustard seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds).
- 4. After 3 minutes -Add the meat. Add powdered spices- masala. tumeric and garam masala.Mix to evenly cover the meat in spices. Fry the meat and spices on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
- 5. Add the ginger and garlic.Add chopped tomato. Add 200 ml water. Mix well to combine.
- 6. Allow to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat then add the pre-cooked dhals.
- 7. Mix. Add remaining water. Add more water if you prefer a weaker consistency . Add salt. Allow to simmer on medium heat for 25 -30 minutes.
- 8. Serve warm. Serve as desired.
Tip : Biryani spices are by far the most aromatic of all spices –but the taste after biting into any of these spices leaves little to be desired. Apart from grinding these spices into a fine powder…another alternative is to make a pouch that can be removed once the dhal ghost is cooked.