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30 December 2014 @ 09:54 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Fifteen: Gosht Alu Bakhara  
softlykarou was a bit worried about this one. Not because she didn't think she could cook it, or because she was worried about making a mess or how long it would take. No, she was worried because the English name give in 50 Great Curries of India is "lamb with plums," and even if we did manage to find plums in the depths of Chicago winter, they would probably have gotten enough chemical treatment to survive the trip here that they'd barely have any flavor and wouldn't help the curry at all. She even contemplated skipping it and coming back to it later in better weather, which would have made this post Week Sixteen and would have led to a lot of twitching on my part because it would have all been out of order. In the end, though, she decided she would make the curry, she'd just use prunes, a lot like she used dried apricots for jardaloo boti.


Small ingredient list this week. The sponge was not an ingredient.

And it turned out pretty great. It was actually a lot like jardaloo boti--so much so that I don't have that much new to say about it. When I compare the recipes together, it makes sense, because they're pretty much exactly the same. Meat--and we actually had lamb this time, because the butcher had boneless stew lamb in--ginger, peppers, onions, a ton of spices, and the fruit. The spices in gosht alu bakhara are slightly different, but that's about the only difference. I said at the end of the jardaloo boti review:
Since the fruit was added near the end, it'd be easy to use different ingredients and see how the taste changes. I look forward to doing that in the future!
And this curry is pretty much what would happen if I did that.


I will quote from Discworld:
"Can I have one before I go?"
"Having one before you
go is the whole point of prunes. And no, you can't."

Words from the Chef
I found it hard to believe this curry only had three steps, but low and behold it did. It also didn't take a long time to cook so that makes it double ok in my book. I was a bit nervous to make it since we are far past plum season and I know dorchadas wasn't wild about the apricot curry [I liked it a lot! -Ed]. I ended up improvising with prunes, which I chopped really fine and added in a little earlier so that they had time to absorb and let their flavors mingle. It even sopped up well! This was a dry curry, especially compared to some of the others. I was excited that I got to cook with stew lamb and the taste was excellent. The lamb was fatty and imparted a lot of nice flavor without overpowering the dish. I wish I'd had more chilies to kick up the heat and stand up next to the sweetness of the prunes but that's for another time.



Unfinished here, but it looks amazing to me.

I'm having a very hard time coming up with more things to say because of all the similarities. The book mentions that this is a specialty of the Veeraswamy restaurant in Britain, which is apparently Britain's oldest Indian restaurant. It makes me wonder if the similarities are due to the way that softlykarou cooked it, or if it is due to the recipe. I wonder how it would taste with real plums, but we won't be able to figure that out until plums are in season. I might ask softlykarou to make it again then, since I just realized that maybe some of the similarities are because we used dried apricots for jardaloo boti and prunes here. If both of them had fresh fruit, maybe there would be additional subtleties in the taste that would come out. Maybe if we made some of the changes that softlykarou suggests, like adding more spices.


Not much color, but that's because there aren't many ingredients. The taste made up for the boring appearance.

Oh, I forgot to mention previously--we had jardaloo boti with white rice, but we had this with chapati. I almost like the chapati better, at least with curry. I kind of want to try Thai curry with chapati now, and see how that tastes. With gosht alu bakhara it was fantastic.

Still want to try this basic formula with apples or pears.

Would I Eat It Again?: I did, actually, about a month ago.
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: No, for the same reasons as jardaloo boti.
What Would I Change?: This pretty much is the "what would I change" from jardaloo boti, so "different fruit" is the obvious answer.
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
 
softlykaorusoftlykarou on January 2nd, 2015 02:37 am (UTC)
The apricot curry actually called for dried fruit whereas I was improvising here. I can imagine the flavor is significantly different with real ripe fresh plums.
dorchadasdorchadas on January 2nd, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's right! And that's why I was so skeptical of the apricot corry, but it turned out great.