If you're a fan of shredded meat -- ropa vieja, gumbo ya-ya, pulled pork -- you're going to love Anupy Singla's version of nihari, a Pakistani shredded beef dish, redolent with cinnamon and garam masala, and made in the slow cooker. Do not fear the long list of ingredients! You have all of them in your pantry, and you need do nothing except toss them into the slow cooker. Set to low, go to work, and come home at the end of the day to an amazing Indian feast. If you have a rice cooker that switches automatically to a keep-warm setting, start some rice to cook at the same time.
Pakistani "old clothes" beef curry (nihari)
From the pantry, you'll need: onions, ginger, garlic, powdered ginger, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, garam masala, ground fennel, mild ground chile pepper, turmeric, nutmeg, kosher salt, canola oil.
This recipe, from The Indian Slow Cooker, serves 6.
2 medium yellow onions, peeled, cut in half, sliced
2 lbs beef brisket, trimmed of fat
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into chunks
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 heaping tsp ground (powdered) ginger
4 green or white cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp ground fennel
1 Tbsp ground mild (red) chile pepper
2 pinches ground nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black salt (or substitute kosher salt)
1/2 cup canola oil
Place the onions in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, and set the meat on top. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the ginger and garlic to a paste, and add it to the slow cooker.
Add the remaining ingredients and drizzle the oil over everything; no need to mix! Cook on LOW for 9 hours (after 5 hours, turn the meat), until the beef falls apart.
Remove the meat to a bowl, and shred it with two forks. Return the meat to the slow cooker and toss with the sauce. Serve with naan or over white, brown or basmati rice.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Tatsoi with garam masala, from Andrea Meyers
Sugar free cardamom custard cups, from Christine Cooks
Cardamom and saffron pudding, from Arabic Bites
Cinnamon ice cream, from Technicolor Kitchen
Sautéed shrimp with turmeric and mustard seeds, from Jane Spice Recipes
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