I call this my Easy Aloo Gosht (Meat and Potato Curry) recipe because it has just three basic spices! If you're even remotely familiar with Pakistani cuisine you'll realize that this is virtually unheard of!
The essence of this curry is in the quality of the meat and the cooking technique. The meat should be succulent and falling off the bones. The potatoes should be firm enough to hold their shape, yet soft and fluffy on the inside. The curry, well seasoned with the few spices, should be just the right consistency to dip your Naan in.
The Indian subcontinent had not heard of the potato before the early 17th Century. It was Portuguese trading vessels that landed in Surat and introduced the famed tuber to South Asians. From then on the potato has been widely used in a multitude of Pakistani, Indian and Bengali recipes.
Cooked as a vegetarian entree, paired with meat, added to rice pilaf and used in assorted appetizers and street food recipes, it is perhaps the most widely cooked vegetable in South Asian cuisine.
Many people falsely believe biryani to be the first ever meat and potato pairing. However, based on kitchensofhistory.wordpress.com the first such pairing was actually a stew of goat meat and potatoes in the 17th Century Mughal court. The article goes on to very aptly call this the most...
meticulous pairing of potatoes and goat's meat that suspended time and cast a spellkitchensofhistory.wordpress.com
Every household in Pakistan has their own perfect Aloo Gosht recipe. Most people cook the curry with goat meat but some use lamb, beef or even chicken. In fact I've eaten a version with meatballs which was delicious! As simple as the recipe is, getting it right can be tricky.
In my family, growing up, we always cooked it with goat meat. The slow cooked bones and meat flavor the curry so well that only a few spices are needed to further enhance these natural flavors. This is the quintessential comfort food and reminds me of leisurely weekend family meals.
At times we ate our Aloo Gosht with "roti" (a flat tortilla style bread) and at times we ate it with Matar (pea) Pulao (pilaf). Accompanied with raita or sometimes even plain yogurt and kachumber, you can ask any Pakistani and this will be amongst their favorite meals.
Learning how to cook it myself took a little time and effort. As easy as it sounds, the trick is getting the potatoes and the consistency of the curry just right. But once you get the hang of it you'll be making it all the time! Just read the notes in the recipe card for help and you'll Learning how to cook it myself took a little time and effort. As easy as it sounds, the trick is getting the potatoes and the consistency of the curry just right. Just read the notes in the recipe card for help and you'll be a pro at cooking it in no time!
Recipe for Easy Aloo Gosht
Heat the oil and brown the diced onions. A nice medium brown is the desired color.
When the onions are close to the desired color, add the garlic. As the garlic browns, the onions will continue to brown so it's important not to wait to add the garlic till they are a darker brown.
Add the meat and saute till it's well browned. This seals the juices and makes the meat more succulent.
Stir the meat to brown evenly.
Once browned, add the chopped tomatoes and stir well.
Next, add part of the water and start cooking the meat.
After the meat is tender, add the spices and dry the water.
Add fresh chilies of your choice (I use thai or serrano) and stir fry as the water continues to dry.
Add the potatoes and remaining water.
Cover and cook till the potatoes are tender.
Uncover when the potatoes are par cooked so you can reduce the liquid if necessary. Once the potatoes are done, garnish with cilantro and serve.
Other Potato Recipes To Try
As I mentioned there are so many potato recipes in Pakistani cuisine. SOme that are featured here on the blog that you may want to try are:
- Easy Aloo Sabzi Potato Curry
- Easy Aloo Pakora Recipe
- Khatti Meethi Aloo Chaat
- Aloo Masala
- Potato Cutlet Recipe
- Easy Potato Samosa Recipe
- Best Mutton Biryani Recipe
- Chili Lime Potato Stacks
Easy Aloo Gosht (Meat and Potato Curry)
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- 2 cups diced onion (SEE NOTES)
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- 2½ lbs goat meat (SEE NOTES)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes (SEE NOTES)
- 5 cups water
- 1 tbsp salt (SEE NOTES)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp red chili powder (SEE NOTES)
- 10 chillies (SEE NOTES)
- 4 medium potatoes (SEE NOTES)
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Heat the cooking oil and add the onions to it to brown
- Once the onions are a medium brown add the garlic paste and saute for about 30 seconds
- Add the goat meat and saute till the meat is no longer pink
- Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes to release the water
- Add 2 cups of water, cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes to tenderize meat.
- After 30 minutes turn the flame back on high and add all the dry spices and the whole chilies. Dry all the excess liquid and roast the meat for a good 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and roast for 2-3 minutes and then add the remaining 3 cups of water. Check the salt and chilies at this point to adjust to your taste as necessary and bring the mixture to a boil.
- After the curry is boiling, reduce the heat to a medium and cook for about 15 minutes till potatoes are cooked through (SEE NOTES)
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot naan or rice.
- Onion- 2 cups is approximately 1 large or 2 small onions.
- Meat- I usually get the hind leg of a goat cut up into pieces. This is extremely succulent meat and makes the best curry in my opinion. Pakistani curries are usually cooked in large quantities and served family style. The portions in this recipe card are based on 4 0z per person, but realistically, once you remove the bones etc the 2.5 lbs of meat being cooked isn't a whole lot. This is what I normally cook for my family of 5 and we don't have a lot leftover.However, if you want to cook a smaller amount, just freeze half the meat for later.
- Tomatoes- I like to use Roma tomatoes for my curries. 1 cup is usually 3-4 of these depending on the size.
- Dry Spices- I tend to eat less salt than most people so you may feel the need to tweak the amount to suit your personal taste. Similarly, I keep the level of chilies in my recipes medium (based on Pakistani standards). It may seem too spicy to some and not spicy enough for others. If your palate is used to Pakistani food you will probably want to keep the spices to the recommended amount or more. If you're experimenting with this type of cuisine and aren't used to a lot of heat you may want to proceed with caution.
- Chilis- Since I like spicy food I use thai chilies. The pop of red color is beautiful and since my husband likes his food super spicy he can cut into these and make his personal serving spicier without me having to make it too spicy for everyone else. If you want to take it down a notch use 5 serrano peppers instead. Leave them whole or slice them lengthwise. For even less heat you can opt for jalapenos or simply deseed the chilies to reduce their potency.
- Potatoes- My personal favorite potato to use in this curry is a red potato. This is after much trial and error! The trick is to have plump potato quarters that hold their shape but are completely cooked through and soft when broken into. This is the one potato variety that allows me to get the perfect results every time!
- The Curry- The main thing in preparing the curry is the consistency of the curry. Not too thick, not too thin, meat falling off the bones and fully cooked potatoes that are holding their shape. The way to achieve that is to control the temperature near the end after you add the potatoes to the curry. Once you add the potatoes and 3 cups of water, cover your pot and bring the curry to a full boil on high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes till you can stick a knife through the potato. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on full and reduce the water till you see the the oil separate and the curry has the consistency you want. Turn the flame off, garnish with cilantro and remove the curry from the pot immediately as it is hot and you want to stop the cooking process to prevent the potatoes from becoming mushy.