Chef M Rehman spearheads the Kashmiri food festival at Hotel Marine Plaza this month. He speaks about Tabakh Maaz, a popular dish from the valley
Kashmir may be known as heaven on Earth for its scenic beauty. But the valley is also famous for its rich cuisine. Meat figures prominently in most of the recipes. M Rehman, co-founder of Kitchenette-E-Awadh, a company that specialises in Kashmiri cuisine and is organising the Kashmiri food festival at Hotel Marine Plaza from February 6-15, says,
"Lamb is a key ingredient in the valley's cuisine primarily due to the cool climatic conditions. Apart from this, curd is also used liberally in the dishes as milk is readily available in the region." He adds that black cardamom, shahi jeera and saffron are the core ingredients of non-vegetarian dishes while ginger-garlic pastes and onions are used sparingly.
The chef reveals that Tabakh Maaz, a popular Kashmiri dish, is one of his favourite dishes. He elaborates, "I tasted it 18-20 years ago and fell in love with it. It's unique as it's a fried dish made from the lamb's breast. It's fairly easy to make as it doesn't involve the usage of too many condiments."
Rehman adds that Kashmiri cuisine is one of the few cuisines in the world that utilises each and every body part of the lamb. "Just as Tabakh Maaz is made from the breast, Rogan Josh is made from lamb chops while Rista and Gushtaba are made from boneless leg pieces," says Rehman.
> 1 kg lamb ribs (full fillet)
> 5-6 litres water
> 3 litre cold water
> 50 gm garlic paste
> 5 gm dry ginger powder
> 15 gm salt
> 8 cloves
> 8 black cardamom
> 10 gm turmeric powder
> 500 pure ghee
> Bring the water to a boil
> Add ribs to the water. Remove 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 10 minutes
> Add salt and boil the meat pieces further till the ribs are soft
> Remove the pan from heat and drain the water. Cool the ribs in a pan with cold water and keep aside
> Chop the ribs into 2x1 inch rectangular pieces
> Boil the water in which the ribs had been cooled. Add chopped ribs, salt, dry ginger, cloves, black cardamom and turmeric powder and mix well.
> Let the mixture 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 ghee on them. Fry until they are reddish brown.
> Serve hot