Gosht Aloo Bukhara, also popularly known as Aloo Bukhara Korma is a beef curry made with dried plums. Also made with Mutton and at times with Chicken, this is an old family recipe of Kashmiri origin.
My maternal grandmother was half Kashmiri and this recipe has been passed down from her mother (my great grandmother). This Korma is always at my family's Eid table, especially on Eid ul Adha. As the holiday approaches next week, I'd like to share it with you.
Kashmiri cuisine is very unique, dating back to the 1500's and the invasion of the Northern part of the Indian subcontinent by Timur. The Timurid rule of the region led to a huge influx of migrants from Samarkand. As per fandom.com this was when the Wazwan Banquet became popular in Kashmiri cuisine.
The banquet is a lavish meal of about 36 courses. The majority of the courses are meat and are prepared from one part of a sheep or goat. Local dried fruits and nuts are often incorporated in the cooking and every part of the animal is used, with the meat often being minced. The Gosht Aloo Bukhara is often part of this lavish Wazwan banquet.
The Cooking is done overnight in large copper pots over a slow wood fire. A minimum cooking time of 10 hours is usually required for the meal. The food is then served in big platters, each platter usually being shared by a minimum of 4 people.
The order in which the meats are served is fixed and the meats are accompanied by rice, chutneys and curd (yogurt) served in clay pots.
As mentioned above, this recipe is unique to my family, but one I can remember having on Eid ever since I was a young child. Luckily my father, though unaccustomed to it, quite liked it, so the tradition of eating it continued in my parents house growing up.
My mother, on one of her visits to me soon after I was married, taught me how to make the korma so I could continue the family tradition. Fortunately, my husband and kids love it so much that not only do I make it on Eid but often just on request from one of my girls.
This is not your typical curry at all so you will need to be prepared for the unusual flavor. Unlike other traditional curries, there is little spiciness, but instead a deep rich flavor due to the plums and nuts.
Properly cooked, with the meat fork tender, the plums moist and juicy and the slightly sweet and sour curry to dip your Naan in, it will definitely become a family favorite!
The Plums For Gosht Aloo Bukhara
The fact that plums have made their way into a traditional Korma recipe is no surprise when the recipe originates from the Kashmir region! Plums are a huge part of Kashmir's produce. An article in kashmirlife.net cites how in the Rawalpora and Machuwa area almost everyone owns a plum orchard.
SInce plum season is very short lived, about 2 months, the plums are often dried and preserved. These are then used to make curries, chutneys and preserves. Kashmiri plums are of a specific variety and can't be substituted with prunes.
They are available at South asian stores or on amazon.com. They taste wonderful in other recipes as well, such as in Biryani, so if you're interested in cooking Pakistani cuisine it's well worth your time and effort to get hold of them.
Eid Menu Ideas
You may well be wondering what to serve with this sweet and sour korma as part of an Eid Menu so here are a few suggestions:
Of course this would be my menu if I was having a big family lunch or dinner.
If it's just us five eating I would probably simplify it and just make the rice, korma and vermicelli sweet.
Hope you decide to try the recipe! Do leave a rating and comment below! I'd love to hear from you!
Gosht Aloo Bukhara (Beef curry with Plums)
- 7 oz dried plums (SEE NOTES)
- ½ cup oil
- 2 onions
- 2 tsps garlic paste
- 2 lbs beef (stew meat)
- 4 roma tomatoes
- 2 tsps salt
- 2 tsps red chili powder
- 2 tsps coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 green chilies
- 2 tbsps sugar (SEE NOTES)
- 2 tbsps slivered almonds
- Soak the plums in hot water for 2-4 hours till they soften and plump up
- Heat the oil and fry the onions till they are a nice medium brown
- Add the garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds
- Add the meat and cook for 5-10 minutes till it's a light brown
- Add the tomatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes
- Add the salt, red chili powder, coriander and turmeric and saute
- Add 2 cups of water, cover and cook on medium low till the meat is tender
- Dry all excess liquid and add the 2 green chilies
- Once the oil starts to seperate, add the sugar and stir fry till it melts
- Add the plums and ½ cup of water
- Cover and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes so the flavors can blend in
- Uncover, turn on high, dry liquid, garnish with almonds and serve with fresh hot naan.
via this link. Sugar: I used sugar in the raw as that's what I use in my house but regular white sugar works just as well. The purpose of the sugar is to help balance the flavor of the curry by creating a bridge between the sharp spices and the sour prunes.