This is one of my husband’s favourite dishes.
Well, to be more specific, this is his favourite Pakistani recipe of mine.
And to be quite fair, I do agree with him. If I had to make a list of my favourite Pakistani foods, Karahi Keema made with mutton or lamb meat would be in my top 5.
Literally, a Karahi is a type of pan used to cook food in around the South-East of Asia. It is a shallow circular pan, like a wok, and typically is of a heavy base, often cast iron. Karahi also refers to a kind of curry made in the Karahi-pan in the South-East. Such curries are tomato-based and have strong flavours of ginger, garlic and green chilli. Before marriage, I used to see my father cook a lot in his Karahi. My father is a true expert in Karahis and I endearingly call him ‘the Karahi Master’ whenever I see him cooking yet another Karahi for the guests he loves to cook for.
We never cooked Karahi dishes with minced meat. We usually used bone-in meat. This is a recipe I’ve tested and tweaked over the months and successfully served at a dinner party some weeks ago. The one thing I feel makes a world of a difference is the cut of mince used. I always use chunkier minced meat whenever I cook this recipe. When going to the butchers, instead of asking for machine-made minced meat, ask for hand-made. I have tried this recipe with both types of mince and I find the hand-made mince mince far more superior. This cut yields more texture and suits this dish much more than machine-mince. This is totally optional but if hand-made mince is available to you I definitely recommend it.
Another thing worth mentioning about Karahi dishes is that often, they use a lot of oil. In this particular recipe, I have used less because this is a recipe on regular rotation in my house and I don’t want this to be an extremely fatty meal. However if I were to be serving this to guests, I could easily double the amount of oil. Oil helps the meat brown better and gives a more desi look to the end dish. It’s your call – add more oil or stick to the amount I’ve used depending on how you feel.
My new book, ‘The Clueless Pakistani Cook’, is now available to purchase! ‘The Clueless Pakistani Cook’ is a guidebook written for people who want to get started in the kitchen and learn how to cook Pakistani food, but aren’t quite sure where to begin. It includes information about what you should have in the kitchen, spices, cooking a masala, rice, desserts, common Q&As and 5 recipes to get you started! It is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn Pakistani cooking! Click here for more information about ‘The Clueless Pakistani Cook’ and here to purchase it!