Eid ul Adha is the second most important holiday in the Muslim world, emphasizing sacrifice, togetherness and community. It takes place on the 10th of Dhu al-Hajj on the Muslim lunar calendar, commemorating both the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, and Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience of a command from God. Muslims all over the world sacrifice an animal and divide the meat into three equal parts: close family, friends and relatives, and the poor.
As for Pakistanis, Eid ul Adha means meat galore, with traditional meals of organ meat, biryani, korma and barbeque. However, alongside these basic and well loved dishes, Youlin Magazine has compiled a short list of six different recipes from all over the country, that are worth trying and sharing with friends and family.
This recipe finds its origins in the south and western regions of Pakistan, across the border in Afghanistan. Traditionally prepared with lamb and mutton, Namkeen Rosh uses minimal ingredients, and lets the flavour of the meat come through, without too much additional spices. The dish is served to guests throughout the year but definitely graces the table on Eid ul Adha.
750 g lamb
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
1 large onion (finely cut)
In a large pot, put in all the ingredients and half a cup of water. Bring to a boil and then with the lid on, reduce the heat to a low simmer and let the meat cook until tender.
The recipe does not call for any form of fat, as the oils from the meat will be enough to let it cook. Once the meat is tender, add a little more water and let the meat simmer. Serve with naan or rice cooked in bone broth.
Nihari originated in Delhi during the Mughal era, and has become popular in Punjab and Karachi. it was a dish meant to be served as breakfast, keeping the person full until lunch. Nihari has travelled to all parts of the country, with several variations and adjustments. The only thing that has remained time-specific about it is its name: the word Nihari comes from the word ‘Nihar’, which means dawn or early morning.
1/2 kg beef (shank meat)
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. red chilli powder
½ tsp paprika powder
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
1 tbs. coriander powder
1½ cup oil
3 tbs. white flour
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp. garlic paste
Special Nihari spices [to be ground fresh]
2 tbs. fennel
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp. cumin seeds
2 green cardamom
2 black cardamom
1 stick of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. nutmeg and mace
2 tbs. coriander seeds
1 aniseed flower
1 to 1 ½ inch ginger (cut in thin slices)
2 tbs. coriander leaves (chopped)
3 to 4 green chillies (chopped)
2 Lemon (sliced)
Put ½ cup oil in a pot. Add meat and fry it a little.
Add salt, chilli powder, turmeric (Haldi) powder, coriander seeds (Dhaniya) powder and ginger (Adrak) paste. Add a little water and mix well.
Dissolve maida in 1 cup of water, add this to the meat and bring to boil.
Grind all the special Nihari spices, put the grounded mixture of spices in a fine cotton cloth bundle and add to the meat.
Add 5-6 glasses of water, cover and leave to tenderize on very low flame.
When the meat has softened, remove the bundle of spices and cook the curry to desired consistency.
Fry some onion slices in a cup of oil till golden brown and add to Nihari.
Also, garnish with fresh ginger (Adrak) and green chillies.
Hunter Beef is a salted dried meat dish from Karachi, but slowly gaining traction in the larger cities. Though it came with the British, it has slowly been indigenized and made from local ingredients. The recipe involved rubbing beef in many spices, and letting it marinate for a long period of time before being boiled. Hunter beef is expensive as it is time consuming to make, and the quality of the time depends on its tenderness and color. It is considered a healthier alternative to regular meat, because it is cooked in water and steam, rather than oil.
1 kg Beef (single roast piece)
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 cup White vinegar
2 tsp Black pepper crushed
2-3 tbsp Butter
1-2 tbsp Salt
With the help of a sharp knife, poke holes into the beef and insert a garlic clove into each hole. In a mixing bowl, mix together the white vinegar, salt, black pepper and lemon juice.
Spread the mixture onto the beef, cover with a plastic bag and leave to marinate overnight.
Steam in a steamer for 30-35 minutes. Then Bake in an oven for 10-15 minutes.
This Balochi recipe is traditionally made using a full goat or lamb, which is cooked in a fire pit underground. The dish is cooked on all special occasions, including weddings and Eid. The dish is also served to special guests on a bed of rice cooked in the meat’s bone broth. For convenience, the recipe below has been adapted to use an oven and only a single leg of lamb or mutton.
1 whole mutton or lamb leg
Coldwater as needed
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tbsp salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper powder
1 tsp Green cardamom powder
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp carom seeds
4 green chillies
5 cloves of garlic
1-inch pieces of ginger
Clean your meat and wash it well. Place in a deep bowl and add salt and vinegar. Include enough cold water to submerge the meat completely, and make sure all the salt has dissolved. Keep the meat in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours. After 12 hours, bring out the meat and drain the brine. Rinse the meat once and pat dry.
Dry roast coriander seeds, carom seeds (Ajwain) and cumin seeds in a pan until coriander seeds turn slightly golden brown. Grind the spice mix coarsely. Add salt, black pepper powder and cardamom powder to the spice mix and mix well. This is a basic Sajji spice rub.
In the same grinder, add lemon juice, green chillies and garlic ginger and blend well to form a paste. Mix only half of the spice mix with the chilli paste to make a spicy paste.
Coat the meat with the spice paste well, covering the cavity and nooks and crannies. Let the cold meat sit out marinated, while it comes down to room temperature. (roughly about 15 to 20 mins)
Preheat the oven at 160 °C. Truss the leg with a thread or dental floss, bending it over and making sure it retains its shape well. Place the meat in an oven-safe pan, and keep it in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes on one side, and then flip and bake for another 30 minutes. Take the meat out and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes, before cutting in. Sprinkle the leftover sajji spice mix and some lemon juice on top and serve.
Dahi Gosht is often found on Bihari Eid dinner spreads. The dish plays with traditional South Asian spices. The twist lies in cooking meat that is marinated in yoghurt, in the style of curry. Easy to make, the dish is packed full of flavor and richness from the meat and yogurt.
1 kg mutton
½ kg yoghurt
1 cup clarified butter
6 to 8 green chillies
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
Ingredients for garnishing
In a pan, heat 1 cup of clarified butter and sauté 2 tbsp of the ginger garlic paste. When it turns golden brown, add 1 kg mutton and allow it to cook thoroughly. When mutton begins to change colour, add ½ kg yoghurt, 6 to 8 crushed green chillies, 1 tbsp red chilli flakes, 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds, salt to taste and 2 glasses of water and allow everything to come together. Stir quickly on a high flame when the meat is tender. Then place few pieces of coal on an aluminum sheet and place them inside the cooking pot for a smoky flavor. Put on the lid and allow simmering for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and ginger when ready.