Pakistan – Kaleeji Masala

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by Dahiza Umar

INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH

This is Pakistan’s most favorite dish when it comes to the Punjab region. Punjab is a province of Pakistan and famous for its culture, its food, and use of fresh ingredients right from farms. Use of ingredients that are common in almost all savory dishes of Punjab is Desi ghee, fresh yogurt, some freshly roasted spices. This is a dish of our special occasion; Eid ul Azha. Eid ul Azha is an event of Muslims where we have to sacrifice any Halal animal in the name of God and distribute its meat to the poor ones.

When it comes to the name of the dish and its main component, Kaleeji. Kaleeji is an animal organ that is the Liver of either mutton meat or beef. And it is cooked in gravy and serve by adding spicy elements to enhance the tanginess of the flavors and texture.

NAMING OF THE DISH

The name of this dish comes from its main ingredient, Kaleeji. So Kaleeji is actually liver in English. The liver of cow, lamb, the goat is usually cooked here in Pakistan. This dish is known as simple Kaleeji Masala, Kaleeji curry or Kaleeji fry.

Masala is a word used for any curry, gravy or broth. So the texture of this dish is actually a gravy in which cooked Liver is served so by combining these two things we have the name of the dish that is Kaleeji Masala, which means Liver gravy.

COMPONENT OF THE DISH

There are two main components of the dish :

Kaleeji / liver

The liver is an animal organ that sometimes smells bad. So we have to prepare this meat to be fresh and smell-free by treating it in vinegar, salt, and water. Some people use to boil this liver for 2 to 5 minutes and wash it properly and then cook it into the curry. But simply soaking this meat in water, vinegar and salt reduces the smell and keeps it fresh.

Curry / Gravy

This curry is not like the regular curry, it has an addition of many spices, some vegetables, and pure butter to give it a go. Spices; some are dried spices like cloves, pepper cones, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and fresh spices are like crushed red chilies, turmeric, and many more to add.

SERVED WITH

This dish goes well with any kind of bread or rice which is prepared in Pakistan like

  • Roghani roti
  • Butter naan
  • Roghani naan
  • Sada naan
  • Khameri roti
  • Khameri naan
  • Boiled rice
  • Simple zeera rice etc

GARNISHING OF THE DISH

This dish is served by garnishing it on the top of the served dish by:

  • Lemon slices
  • lemon juice
  • Fresh coriander chopped
  • Green chilies chopped
  • Ginger slices
  • Chaat Masala
  • Fried onions

NUTRITIONAL ASPECTS

  • Calories : 320
  • Carbohydrates : 10 grams
  • Fat : 30 grams
  • Protien : 40 grams

TIME REQUIRED

  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Cooking time : 40 minutes
  • Total time : 60 minutes

CLEANING OF THE KALEEJI

Firstly we have to wash this meat before cooking. First thing to do with the liver meat is washing in fresh water. After washing we have two method of cleaning :

  1. The first method is to boil this meat in water for 5 minutes and then wash it again with water. After boiling move to next step of cooking
  2. Another method is soaking meat for 15 minutes in 1 bowl of water having 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. After soaking, move to the cook step of this dish.

INGREDIENTS OF THE DISH

  • Mutton Kaleeji/ liver : 1/2 kilogram
  • Butter : 4 tablespoons
  • Desi ghee : 1/2 cup
  • Onions : 4 large chopped
  • Tomatoes : 4 large chopped
  • Garlic paste : 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger paste 2 tablespoons
  • Green chilies paste : 4 tablespoons
  • Yogurt : 1 cup

Spices

  • Salt : 1 tablespoon
  • Red fresh peppers : 1/2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 teapoons
  • Crushed chilies : 1/2 teaspoons
  • Cumin powder : 1 tablespoons
  • Coriander powder : 1 tablespoon
  • Bay leaf : 1
  • Black pepper cones : 6
  • Cloves : 2
  • Cinnamon stick : 1
  • Nutmeg powder : 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black cardamon : 1
  • Green cardamon : 2

COOKING METHOD

  • Take a pot and add 1 glass of water with 2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt and soak meat into it.
  • While meat is soaking, take another cooking pot and add ghee with butter into it.
  • When butter melts, add chopped onions into it. While onions are softing, add garlic ginger and green chili paste into it.
  • Cook onions and garlic ginger together for 5 minutes and add tomatoes into it.
  • While adding tomatoes, add all the dried spices and fresh spices into mixture.
  • Add 2 glass of water with it and let them cook for 15 minutes. When water is dried out and onions are soft enough to look like a smooth mxiture. Start up frying it on high flame.
  • When oil releases, add yogurt into the mixture and low the flame of pot.
  • On other hand we have liver meat soaking, Take vegetable oil and fry them in it.
  • It take around 8 minutes to get a crispy brown color and than add this meat into the gravy mixture.
  • Now we have a gravy of liver in our pot. Let it rest on low heat for 10 minutes.
  • So the flavors of gravy infused with liver and set a unique flaovred dish.

GARNISHING AND SERVING

Take a beautiful dish in which this dish is served and garnish it with lemon on the side of the dish. Than add fresh coriander and green chilies on the top. Serve this with khameri roti.

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