In Gushtaba recipe we cook meatballs in white yogurt gravy. Gushtaba Recipe is an integral part of Kashmiri Wazwan. Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Kashmir which includes many mutton recipes like Kabab, Rogan Josh, Doudha Ras, Aab Gosh, Daniwal Korma, Waza Palak, Rista, Gushtaba and many more. Though it also includes some vegetarian dishes like Dum Aelva, Dum Aloo, etc. Pickles like Gand Achaar. Side dishes like Muji Chetin or Mooli Akhrot Chutney and even sweet dishes like Phirni.
The initial process of preparing Gushtaba and Rista meatballs are the same. Though traditionally it is a very time taking and tedious process. To prepare these recipes, firstly the lamb meat is beaten with a wooden hammer on the top of a round stone. During this beating process, the white membranes in the meat are also picked and discarded. Then the chef adds meat fat and some spices to it. This fat acts as a binding material for meatballs while spices improve its taste. This whole exercise is to make the meatballs soft and spongy. Thus these meatballs dissolve as soon as you put them in your mouth.
Difference between Gushtaba and Rista Recipe
Though a similar process is implemented for preparing Gushtaba and Rista meatballs. But, the final output is much different in taste and texture. While the gravy of Rista recipe is spicy bright red. The gravy of the Gushtaba recipe is pale white or yellow. Further, the meatballs in Gushtaba recipe are much bigger in size than that of Rista recipe.
Tips for Preparing Gushtaba recipe
To prepare the Gushtaba recipe at home, here I am sharing with you some tips which will make the complex, tedious process of preparing meatballs easy. For this, we will take the help of modern equipment like a mixer grinder which is easily available at our home. But you need to take care of below points while buying meat so that we can achieve the same delicious traditional taste:-
- Try to take the boneless meat from the rear leg portion of a baby lamb. The meat of baby lamb is incredibly soft. And the back thigh portion has the maximum muscular meat which also contains less white membranes.
- If you wish to wash the meat. Then wash it before preparing minced meat. Never wash the minced meat at all. Washing minced meat will reduce its taste as well as you will face difficulty in preparing meatballs from it.
- Ask the butcher to completely remove the white membrane (if any) from the meat and also request him to prepare the finest possible mince of this meat.
- Take some additional extra mutton fat separately. But do not get it minced in the meat. We will use it during the grinding process. As told we will not use water any further. Thus this fat will act as a replacement of water and will do the lubrication while grinding.
Your butcher has completed the toughest part to prepare the Gushtaba recipe at home. Rest work will be done by our Mixer Grinder. So, let’s begin preparing our delicious Gushtaba recipes with a little effort.
for preparing Gushtaba meatballs
- 500 grams minced mutton (बकरे के मांस का कीमा)
- 100 grams of meat fat (मांस की चरबी)
- 1 piece raw egg (कच्चा अंडा) (optional)
- 2 tablespoon cornflour/corn starch (छिलका रहित मक्के के दाने का आटा) (optional)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (बेकिंग पाउडर) (optional)
- 2 pinch of black cardamom powder (बड़ी इलायची पाउडर)
- 2 pinch of green cardamom powder (छोटी इलायची पाउडर)
- 1 pinch cloves powder (लौंग पाउडर)
- 1.5 teaspoon fennel seeds powder (सौंफ का पाउडर)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder (सोंठ पाउडर)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (नमक)
for cooking Gushtaba meatballs
- 1 liter of water (पानी)
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter (घी)
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick (दालचीनी)
- 2 pieces Indian bay leaf (तेज पत्ता)
- 1 piece black cardamom (बड़ी इलायची)
- 4 pieces of green cardamom (छोटी इलायची)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (नमक)
for Gushtaba Recipe Gravy
- 2.5 cup hung thick curd (लटका गाढ़ा दही)
- 1 cup water (पानी)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (नमक)
- 3-4 pieces of green cardamom (छोटी इलायची)
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick (दालचीनी)
- 3-4 pieces of chopped garlic cloves (कटा हुआ लहसुन का लौंग)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds powder (सौंफ का पाउडर)
- 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder (सोंठ पाउडर)
- 1 pinch turmeric powder (हल्दी पाउडर)
- 5 tablespoon mustard oil (सरसों का तेल)
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (लाल मिर्च का चुरा) (optional)
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter (घी) (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped mint Leaves (बारीक कटा हुआ पुदीना पत्ता)
How to prepare meat paste for Gushtaba meatballs
- Firstly we need to make a paste of meat. For this, we are going to place the minced meat in a mixer jar and grind it for 2 to 3 minutes.
- To this add the meat fat and then again grind it for 2-3 minutes. If you're very health conscious and don't wish to use meat fat, then you can easily replace meat fat with one raw egg.
- Now to the current meat paste add 2 pinches of black cardamom powder, 2 pinches of green cardamom powder, one pinch cloves powder, one and a half teaspoon fennel seeds powder, half teaspoon dry ginger powder and half teaspoon salt to it.
- Again grind it for one to two minutes to mix the spices well. Thus the paste will turn into a spicy soft paste - which is perfect to make meatballs.
- Shift this paste into a bowl. Now, we will do some preparation for cooking it.
Preparing water to cook Gushtaba meatballs
- Take a wide heavy-bottomed and deep pan. Add 1 liter of water in it and put over medium flame. Then add half teaspoon of salt to it.
- When the water starts evaporating add whole spices -1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 1 black cardamom, and 4 green cardamoms. Break and open green and black cardamom before adding cardamoms in this water.
- Now add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter (desi ghee) to this water.
- Covering the pan with a lid and cook it till water starts boiling. While the water boils, the spices leave its aroma and flavor into this water. After the water gets boiled, switch off the stove and lets the water cool down a little (still keeping it warm).
How to make meatballs for Gushtaba Recipe
- Now place a large strainer over another large bowl. When the water cools down a little, then pour the warm water over this strainer, this will separate the whole spices from the water. Discard the whole spices while the clean spicy and aromatic water stays at the bottom. We will use this aromatic water for cooking our meatballs.
- Wet your hand by applying a little water and then take a small portion of meat paste, which is enough to prepare a ball of a large size lemon. Fold your fingers slightly as if you hold a handful of water for drinking. Hold the meat paste between your palm and fingers lightly. Then shake your palm left and right gently, to roll the meat paste into a ball. This will help in forming a spongy ball of meat paste. Never squeeze the meatballs between your palm and fingers while making meatballs.
- If you are facing difficulty in making meatballs and your meats balls are cracking, then you can add 2 tablespoons of cornflour and 1 tablespoon of baking powder and again run the paste in your mixer to mix these items well in meat paste. Now again start making meatballs from this paste, with gentle hands as described above.
- Immediately pour this meatball in the warm spicy water prepared earlier and close the lid.
- Repeat the above steps, to form meatballs, from the rest of the meat paste. But do not forget to apply little water on your palm before preparing the next meatball. Wet hands, acts as a greasing thus help in preparing meatballs and the meat doesn't stick to your hand.
How to cook Gushtaba meatballs
- After you have prepared all the meatballs. Transfer the bowl with spicy water and meatballs over a low flame and cook it for around 1 hour with closed lid.
- When the meatballs get cooked the meatballs start floating above the water. Thus you can understand that the meatballs are well done. It takes around 1 hour. Meanwhile, let us start preparing our Gushtaba gravy.
Preparing Gushtaba Recipe
- Firstly, whisk the 600 grams of curd well in a mixer jar, or mix well with the help of a balloon whisk. Then transfer it into a thick bottomed pan.
- Now, add 1 cup of water into it and again mix well.
- When water and curd get mixed well, add half a teaspoon of salt into it. Add only a little salt, because when the curd and water will get boiled well it will become thick thus half a teaspoon of salt will be enough for it. If required, you can add salt according to the taste later.
- Now add 2-3 spoons Mustard Oil and mix it well again. If you do not like the taste of mustard oil, you can use any other oil. But the use of mustard oil is traditional and if you want to get the same traditional taste then I will recommend using mustard oil in it.
- Now break and open four green cardamoms, and put its seeds into it. Then add the 1-inch cinnamon stick. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seeds powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of dry ginger powder then cook it over medium flame. Keep running continuously until it comes to boil. It is better to use a wooden spoon to run it because a wooden spoon doesn't get hot while you run it continuously. So always use a wooden spoon.
- If you prefer a slightly tart flavor, then add red chili flakes to this solution. It is optional.
- Meanwhile, your meatballs would have got cooked well in the spicy water. (The spicy water in which we are cooking the meatballs will turn into mutton stock with the flavor of meat in it). Remove the meatballs and put this mutton stock in the above pan in which we are cooking the gravy for our Gushtaba recipe, and cook it over medium flame. Cook it again till it starts boiling.
- It takes approximately half an hour to boil well. Keep it running continuously.
- When it starts to boil - then put the meatballs into it. Cover the lid and then leave it to boil over a low flame, keep it running in the middle. Boil the meatballs for about 20 to 30 minutes and let the gravy be thicker. You can cook it till you get your desired consistency of gravy.
- When the gravy gets boiled for around half an hour. You will see that the meatballs have sucked the gravy. And have turned spongy and now floating above gravy.
- Add finely chopped mint leaves, cover the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Delicious Gushtaba recipe is ready to serve