Born and raised in old Dhaka, I grew up eating the most authentic Dhakaiya food. During Ramadan, my dad used to make sure we had a feast every evening. Apart from the regular fried food, we always had something more substantial, which my dad used to call second iftar. It was usually some kinds of biryani, tehari or some meat curry with paratha or luchi from the famous restaurants like Al Razzak, Star or JhunurPolaughor. Sometimes mom used to make her famous beef or chicken dishes with paratha or luchi.
Today I am sharing two of my favourite childhood iftar dishes that mom used to make often.
Beef with chopped spices - Kata moshlay mangsho
1 kilo bone in beef, chopped
2 cups of chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped ginger
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
4 to 5 cardamom pods
3 small pieces of cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup yoghurt
8 to 10 red chillies, sliced and deseeded (if you prefer a milder curry)
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt to taste
First, heat the oil in a pan. Add the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves. Fry for one minute. Now, add the onion, ginger, garlic and sliced chillies. Cook until the onions have softened.
Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and yoghurt. Cook for two to three minutes. Add the beef and mix it well. Now add the vinegar and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil. Add one cup of water and cover the pot with the lid.
Cook it over medium low heat for an hour or more. Stir it once in a while so that the beef and spices don’tcatch in the bottom. Cook until the beef is tender and the oil has separated from the gravy. Cooking time will vary with the quality and size of the beef chunks you are using.
Once the beef is cooked through, add the sugar and mix it well. Cover and cook for a further two to three minutes. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning. Once ready serve with luchi, paratha or any rice dish.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
Mix the salt and oil in to the flour. Now add the water. Keep 1/4 cup water aside. Add this water a little at a time, as needed.
Knead the mixture intoa smooth, soft dough. This takes about five to six minutes of good kneading. It will be soft but not sticky.
Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Heat enough oil over medium high heat in a deep frying pan.
Take a small portion of the dough and shape them into small balls.
Test the oil temperature by putting a small piece of dough into it. It should sizzle immediately but should not brown the moment it hits the oil.
Now add one luchi at a time into the oil. The moment you put it in the oil, take your slotted spoon and gently push the luchidown so it is submerged in the oil. This technique makes the luchi puff up like a ball. Cook it on one side for 15 seconds. Turn it over, and cook the other side for another 15 seconds.
The colour should stay white, but a pale brown is also okay. The browner the luchi, the crispier it will get, which in this case, is not the desirable outcome as it will make the luchi tough to eat. So make sure not to over-fry them.
Serve hot with your favourite curry.