A simple Aloo Ghost (Meat and Potato Curry) is one of those dishes that is loved by everyone. This dish perfectly defines what comfort food is on a cold winter’s day. Today however, I am not sharing the recipe for aloo gosht. If anything can meet the level of this perfect specialty, it is Shaljam Gosht Curry (Turnip and Meat Curry). Few things are tastier than a rich, steaming pot of mutton curry with chunks of beautiful shaljam (turnip).
With the cold slowly spreading across the country, turnips are a new addition to the shelves at vegetable markets. I remember eating sweet shaljam gosht in the form of a bhujiya (dry), as this is how it was always made in my family and in most Punjabi families. After my marriage, I learned to cook shaljam gosht curry from my mother-in-law. This is a Kashmiri adaption of the dish.
My mother-in-law makes it in a curry form just like aloo ghost but with the addition of sugar at the end, just like it is done in a bhujia curry. The taste is almost magical. The rich and deeply flavored gravy/ broth, tender chunks of meat and soft textured turnips all combine to give it an authentic taste. I leave it to you to decide which one contributes the most towards the dish’s taste.
Many people cook meat in a pressure cooker first and then make curry using oil and spices; others cook it in oil, add spices first and then cook the meat in water with a lid, or pressure cooker. Either method should deliver the taste and texture. Slow cooking the meat, masala and turnips will yield a flavorsome, rich curry with tender meat falling of the bone and turnips drenched in flavors of a perfect curry (shorba).
For me, texture is the most important thing while cooking any curry. It needs to be perfect, with no visible onions and tomato skins floating around. The perfect curry has a perfect look to it — which also means being able to see oil floating on the surface of the dish. The oil rising to the top never means that the curry is drenched in oil — it just means that curry was cooked long enough for the oil to separate from the water of the curry. This method is indeed a special trademark of traditional Pakistani cuisine. My mother-in-law considers the curry not-well-done if the oil is not separated during the cooking process.
Garnish the dish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with boiled rice.