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Just like its culture, heritage, history and nature, Kashmir’s delectable food is also unmissable. With a majority of the dishes here being meat-based, Kashmiri cuisine is nothing short of a paradise for all the non-vegetarians. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing for the vegetarians.

Kashmir is a paradise for all kinds of foodies. Rogan Josh, Dum Aloo, Modur Pulao, Yakhni Lamb curry, Aab Gosht, Kahwa- the list of dishes to try here is truly endless. The food here is a beautiful amalgamation of the cuisines influenced by the Persians, Mughals, and other Central Asian Muslim cultures.

And when we are talking about Kashmir’s grand gastronomic affair, how can we not talk about the Gushtaba? ‘Gushtaba’ or gostaba is a flavorsome dish made from minced mutton meatballs in a curd-based gravy. This traditional dish is full of authentic Kashmiri flavors. It  is so good that it’ll leave you wanting for more.

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In fact, the Kashmiri Wazwan – a grand feast with a whooping 36 courses is incomplete without the gostaba. And this dish is mostly served towards the end of the wazwan before the dessert. Refusing this dish is considered as an insult by the hosts. The gostaba is also a very special dish prepared for various occasions and celebrations.

Gushtaba
Gushtaba Served in a Restaurant in Kashmir

If you have been to Kashmir and tried this dish, you probably know why it is so special. And if not, you should still definitely try it out at home.

Want to cook the wonderful gushtaba at home? Then, read on! In this article, we tell you how to cook this authentic Kashmiri Gushtaba at home. So gather all the ingredients and begin your prep for this mind-blowing dish that is sure to be a treat for your tastebuds!

Kashmiri Gushtaba Recipe:

The recipe can be divided into three steps: preparing the meatballs, cooking the meatballs and preparing the gravy. So, without any more delay, let’s get into the recipe.

Ingredients:

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need for the gushtaba recipe:

For the meatballs:

  • 500 grams minced mutton
  • 100 grams mutton fat OR 1 egg
  • 1 small piece of ginger OR dry ginger powder
  • 2 green cardamoms finely crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • Saffron to Garnish (Optional)

For cooking the meatballs:

  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Gushtaba gravy:

  • 1 ½ cup curd
  • 2 medium sized finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dry ginger powder
  • 1-2 black cardamoms
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt- as per taste

Now that we know the ingredients, let’s get into the Kashmiri Gushtaba recipe.

Step by Step Gushtaba Recipe:

  1. First, we need to ensure that the mutton is very finely minced. For this, you can either use a stone pestle or even a mixer grinder works fine. Add the minced mutton to the grinder/ food processor and grind it for about 2 minutes. Then add the salt, ginger, crushed cardamom and either mutton fat or egg (whichever one you are using) and grind this for about 2 more minutes.
  2. Now, take the finely minced mutton and transfer it to a bowl. Keep it aside for some time while we prepare the other things. 
  3. Take a large vessel and add 2 cups of water to it and heat it on a medium flame. Add salt and all the whole spices (bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves) to it. Let the water boil.
  4. As the water is boiling, take the mutton paste and start making medium-sized balls out of it. Use a little water to wet your hands for making the meatballs.
  5. After you have shaped all the meatballs, add them to the boiling water to cook them. Cook these balls in the water for a good amount of time or till they become a little tender. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes for the meatballs to cook well.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, heat sufficient oil in a kadhai. Now, add the finely chopped onions to the oil. Cook these onions till they become slightly brown. Let the onions cool down.
  7. Meanwhile, take the 1.5 cups curd and whisk it very well. Use a little water if needed. Add a little salt to it while whisking. Now, open the green and black cardamoms and add its seeds to the curd. Also add the dry ginger powder and fennel powder and mix well. Keet the curd aside.
  8. The onions would have cooled by now. Put these onions in a mixer grinder and make a very fine paste of it.
  9. To make the gushtaba, take a heavy bottomed pan or vessel. Now, add the prepared curd to this and cook it very well until it starts boiling. But, you also need to be very careful when cooking the curd and keep stirring it continuously.
  10. Now, add the onion paste to the curd and mix well. Also add the two tablespoons ghee to it and keep cooking it. 
  11. When the curry appears to be well cooked, add the meatballs to it. You can also add the water that the meatballs were boiled in to adjust the consistency. This is not just to adjust the consistency but it will also add a good taste to the curry.
  12. Let everything cook well for a while till it starts to boil.
  13. Voila, you are done! Your Kashmiri Gushtaba is ready to serve.
  14. Optionally, you can garnish it with some fresh or dried mint leaves.
  15. Serve the hot gostaba with some steamed rice or naan/ some other bread. Indulge in and enjoy!

Over to You

Here, we shared the Kashmiri Gushtaba recipe. Even though it might seem like a long process, trust us, the gushtaba is definitely worth it. This marvelous dish is sure to leave your taste buds wanting more. Do try out this recipe for tasting a bit of the heavenly Kashmiri cuisine. Also, do let us know how you liked it!

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