Here's is my aloo gosht recipe, Pakistani style with photos of each step. Aloo Gosht is so hailed in Pakistani home cooking , it can elevate itself as National dish. But, meat is expensive and some poor Pakistani can have it only occasionally. That's where daal chawal ( more economical) becomes better candidate as national food of Pakistan.
What is Aloo Gosht?
Aloo gosht is classic sub-continental meat curry which has thin tomato onion gravy with flavours from bone-in meat usually beef or lamb/mutton and potatoes.
The origin of this dish is difficult to trace because it a very simple dish, one thing is for sure it is popular in Pakistan and Indian Muslim regions like Hyderabad and Dehli. You can find more info on wikipedia.
What is most important in cooking aloo (potatoes) gosht (red meat) is getting a thin single thread gravy.
Aloo gosht is a staple stew in every Pakistani homes and every home has a different version. The ingredient are more or less same, the real difference is in the cooking style, timings and temperature. What's more interesting is that no one has an accurate recipe and everyone cooks through "andaza" that is visual estimation. So when I cook aloo gosht, it tastes different from my moms version and that's lovely having different taste every time.
Ingredients of Pakistani Aloo Gosht recipe
Onions: Brown, Raw or blended
I make this aloo gosht recipe in two versions. One with brown onions like I did in this recipe. With fried/brown onions, taste is distinctly delicious than below version. And a little searing (bhunnofying) till oil separates does the job.
Hassle Free, Easy version of Aloo Gosht Recipe : Another one is with raw onions, I take onions and tomatoes, each cut in four pieces along with all other ingredients except potatoes and garnish. Then, I put it all in the pot and let it cook on slow heat until meat is tender. A lot of searing on high heat has to be done until oil separates on both sides of pan to get that distinct roasted (bhunna) taste. Finally, I add potatoes and some water. When potatoes are tender, my aloo gosht is ready. I calls this hassle free version because it has no fine chopping, it's one pot stew and and requires very little active cooking time. This version is also great for slow cooking.
Another method that is not traditional is when you blend the gravy in processor for a smooth texture. If you fry onions on low heat for 15 minutes, your onions will dissolve without the need to pulse the onion tomato gravy in food processor. The pulsing never gives the same result as this, even the color is different.)
Tomatoes: Chunks or pureed
Adding tomatoes cuts in chunks or finely chopped or puree is personal preference. Puree or tomato paste gives best texture. Cutting in large chunks also helps better cooking and dissolving of tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes don't dissolve well.
Potatoes: Less or more
Lastly, some people would add loads of potatoes in this gravy and some would add just one for background taste so adjust as you like.
If your potatoes take very long to cook, then you may boil potatoes with salt and a pinch of turmeric. When potatoes are half done add to the curry and discard the water used for boiling. Some prefer adding fried golden potatoes to the gravy, I didn't in this recipe to keep it simple.
If you don't add potatoes and stop cooking on 4th step, you'll have delicious Bhunna gosht which is amazing too.
Meat for Aloo Gosht:
Beef or lamb or mutton, all work fine for this recipe. I love lamb shanks and recommend it for best taste.
Adding yogurt or not is a personal preference. And I don't recommend it as it undermines the bhunna flavor and colors of curry. I like to see potato flavor shine in the meat stew.
How to make Aloo gosht recipe
The pictorial shows lamb aloo gosht recipe but you can make it with beef too, cooking time for beef will be more.
- Step 1: First thing, when you start cooking is fry onions for 15 minutes on low heat with occasional stirring. Cover the pot and stir at regular intervals. Meanwhile, wash your meat and do other preps. The slow cooking of onion for about 15 minutes makes it very soft and more likely to dissolve into a thin smooth gravy.
- Step 2: When onion are very soft, turn heat to medium and fry until light golden.
- Step 3: Now, the visual sign is when the onion slices start to separate clearly, you stir constantly for few second until they are golden. Adjust heat as needed. You need medium golden color as shown in step 3. If you burn your few onions slices, it will spoil both color and taste of stew.
- Step 4: In this pic, you can see the spices.
- Step 5: Add spices to fried onion and fry for 30 seconds. (If using pre-fried brown onions as you can just crush crispy onions with your hands and add along with spices. I have mentioned measures fried onions too in recipe card.)
- Step 6: Stir in mutton and fry for 5 minutes on high heat until color changes.
- Step 7: The color has changed.
- Step 8: Add tomatoes and mix well. Cover and cook until tomato changes it color and some of its water dries.
- Step 9: Add ½ cup warm water. Mix and cover the lid tightly. Cook on medium heat until meat is tender. (30-45 minutes depending on meat and altitude) Add more warm water as needed. You can also use a pressure cooker to speed up the process.
- Step 10: When meat is tender. We cook the stew on high heat for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently until oil separates on sides of pot. (Bhunnofying)
- Step 11: Now, we'll add potatoes and water. Mix well, make sure potatoes are immersed in gravy. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat with lid tightly covered until potatoes are fork tender.
- Step 12: Aloo gosht is ready. Garnish with loads of chopped fresh green coriander leaves and slitted green chillies.
My other similar recipes.
- Bhunna Keema ( dry spiced mince )
- Aloo keema (mince and potato)
- Kunna gosht ( lamb shank stew)
- Yakhni pulao (lamb rice)
- Kaali Mirch Gosht ( peppered lamb shoulder chops)
- Kaari Chawal (Cashew spiced curry)
- 1.1 pound lamb/mutton/beef pieces with bones, ,I used goat leg pieces. (500 gm)
- ½ cup oil, ,use less if using fried onions
- 2 (250 gram) onions sliced , or ½ cup packed fried onions, see notes
- 1 to 1½ tablespoon green chilli paste, ,less or more chilli as per spice level
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli, for colour, optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 inch cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cloves
- 1 black cardamom, , split
- 3 tomatoes, , cut in large chunks or pureed
- 3-4 medium potatoes
- Water , as required
- 2-3 green chillies, slit, deseeded
- fistful fresh coriander leaves, ,chopped
- 2 lemon , wedges
- Take oil in a pot and fry onion slices for 15 minutes on slow heat, cover the pot. Fry further on medium flame for 5 minutes until light golden.
- Now, add all spices, give it a stir and let spices sizzle.
- Add meat in the pot and fry further for 7 minutes until meat changes it's color to brown.
- Stir in tomatoes and cover the pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add ½ cup warm water, cover the pot. Cook on slow heat for 30-45 until meat is tender. (You may cook in pressure cooker.)
- Remove lid and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat with frequent stirring until oil separates on the side of pot. (Bhunnofying)
- Pour ¾ cup water in the pot, stir and throw in potatoes chunks. Potatoes should be immersed in gravy. Cover the lid and cook for 7-10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
- Garnish with coriander and chillies.