'CHUGAR' are the tender tamarind leaves which hits the market only once a year for about 2-3 months during summer, and that is the time,we make the most of this wonderful,tangy ingredient.
Tender tamarind leaves find their place in a number of recipes,including chutneys,chugar rice,chugar dal,etc. But my personal favourite is Chugar gosht.I think chugar is more popular in the state of Andhra Pradesh than anywhere else,it is also called Chinta Chiguru Pappu in telugu.
During my last visit to Hyderabad,I had chugar to my heart's content. And then my MOM made for me the chugar cakes(blanched the leaves and formed patties and sun-dried,till the moisture is evaporated)which can be eaten during the non-seasonal months.Though the dried leaves look gross,but the end result will make up for it:),so thanks to mom,I am enjoying this after months of my visit to India.
Chugar Gosht is made in a typical Hyderabadi way ,that is, most vegetables are cooked by making a basic 'Handi' which consists of meat(usually mutton),onions,g/g paste,salt,haldi,mirchi,oil. The Handi is the base preparation,the above ingredients are cooked till meat is tender and then,it is bhoonofied and the required vegetables are added along with little water and simmered on low flame till the vegetables are infused with flavours of the spices.
For the best tasting chugar gosht,use the meat from the ribs area,what we call in urdu seene ka gosh or sar seena
1)onion 3 medium
2)chugar 500 gms
3)mutton with bones 250 gms
4)red chilli powder 1 tsp
6)ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
7)turmeric 1/4 tsp
8)oil 2 tbsp
9)cilantro 1 sprig chopped
--Peel and cut the onion.
--In a pressure cooker put together sliced onion,ginger garlic paste,turmeric,red chilli powder,salt,mutton and oil(this is called handi).
--Let it cook for 3 whistles,or if not using the pressure cooker,cook till the meat is tender.
--At medium flame, bhoonofy the above ingredients till the strings of onions are no longer seen,that is the strings of onion should have turn to paste.
--Now put the chugar leaves in the above mixture along with chopped cilantro,mix well.
--Put about half cup water and again mix well,cook on low flame till all the water is evaporated.
--Enjoy this tangy dish with steamed rice and mithi dal
Steamed rice,chugar gosht and mithi dal is the classic hyderabadi combo,I bet after reading this,every Hyderabadi will crave for this dish:)
This is also an entry to“The Hyderabadi Bakr-Eid Food Festival-’09″hosted by Mona of Zaiqa.net