Walk into any high street Curry House and one of the stock bulk standard Daag dishes you will find on the menu is a popular North Indian and Pakistani Pasanda, originating from a dish served in the Courts of the Moghul Emperors. The word is derived from Urdu word “pasande,” or “the favorite one,” which refers to the prime cut of meat traditionally used within, and the fact that everyone loves this dish it is a catch all so this is a true no risk curry creamy that is low’ish on the chilli heat front, so if your looking for the hot and the dangerous I suggest you go elsewhere, as this is a dish of subtleties and flavour variations and is truly delicious, and does not require the fiery heat of chilli to make it memorable….
Pasanda was originally made with the steaks cut from the leg of lamb, then beaten to tenderise it flattened into strips and marinated before cooking. In the present day, in most restaurants the Pasanda comes as fish, chicken, prawn or any other protein that can make the restaurant a shilling or two; make no mistake though this is a princely dish and one that traditionally uses the finest cut of lamb so being the lover of tradition that I am if it was good enough for the moghuls its good enough for me.
There’s a fair few ingredients but the essence of this dish is the marinade once that is assembled and together its all easy from there
The first and most important element is of course the marinade and this can really be anything that is the essence of what you like to taste in my particular example I like the sweet and the sour so my marinade reflects that. I have also used Coconut cream but you can just as easily use yoghurt or sour cream, feel free to flex you creative muscle here as the end result is really about the Lamb that if you follow the cookout will be soft melt in the mouth succulent surrounded by an unctuous sauce that you will want to cook time and time again.
6 dried apricots
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 green chilli inc seeds
1inch fresh ginger
150ml coconut cream
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp amchoor
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder…..
Assemble that little lot in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste…..this will make enough marinade for at least 2 persons
Now for the meat you should have some nice leg steaks here to place them between some sheets of clingfilm and flatten to about 10 mmm thickness using a steak mallet or a rolling pin.
when that’s done coat the steaks in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for no less that a couple of hours, overnight is probably best!
the only other Ingredients your going to need is
1 heaped tablespoon of Ghee
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 black cardamom
1 tsp whole Coriander
1 tsp garam masala
Now for the cooking, you have a couple of options but essentially you need a pan that you can seal, traditionally a karahi with a lid that you seal with a dough paste made of flour and water…. too much hassle/
then use a large heavy based saucepan with a tight fitting lid that you can further seal with a tin foil cover over the pan before you put the lid on……..
melt the ghee in the pan and add the Cinnamon, Cardamoms, Coriander and fry for a few moments before adding the meat and all the marinade spread the meat out over the base of the pan cover as tightly as you can and cook on a very low heat for One hour. Five minutes before you serve sprinkle in the teaspoon of Garam Masala then all that’s left to do is dish it up, and gobble it down!