Think of Shab-e-Barat, and what's the next thing that comes to mind? I dare say it has something to do with taste buds, delicious aromas wafting in through nostrils and intoxicating the senses. The occasion holds religious as well as cultural significance for all of us. It was part of all our childhoods, with its halwa, borfis and festive atmosphere combining to create a memory and a tradition that evokes nostalgia, as well as making us yearn for its delights.
Shab-e-Barat, for me, is the day when ties between families and friends are strengthened by the exchange of delicacies between households. It reminds us of the importance of being good neighbours; great pains are taken so that no one is overlooked in the rush to send treats to loved ones. On this day, food sent is as good as food received, for no self-respecting household will send the bearer back empty-handed. It is also a day of compassion, as many of those who cannot afford such luxuries are offered the delicious items, a tradition that is integral to Islam.
Khazana, the popular Indian restaurant in Gulshan, recognizes the soft corner that we Bangladeshis have for Shab-e-Baraat. For the occasion they prepare a special menu that consists of the traditional Shab-e-Baraat cuisine. “On Shab-e-Barat there is great demand for the dishes we make specially for the occasion,”Dudh Kumar Ghosh, Mithai chef at Khazana said. Ghosh, who is in charge of making the sweet items on Shab-e-Baraat, said that the occasion marks a busy night for the restaurant.
Kamal Waris, who prepares all the hot items on the auspicious day named some of the popular dishes: “You have the traditional favourites like gajar halwa, moong dal ka halwa, besan ke barfi. Also, people love the main course items such as gosht kundam qaliya, musharrat-e-korma, and dosti roti.' The last is so named because the chapattis are served with pairs sticking to each other.
Star Lifestyle has arranged a Shab-e-Barat special in collaboration with Khazana, who have provided recipes of some of their mouth-watering items, so that you, dear readers, can whip up the delicious items for yourselves and your loved ones this Shab-e-Barat.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Recipes by Dudh Kumar Ghosh and Kamal Waris.
Special thanks to Khazana for arranging the photoshoot.
Gosht Kundam Qaliya
1.5 kg mutton cubes, boneless
150ml refined oil
200g onion rings
200g browned onion
200g coriander powder
2-3 bay leaves
8 small cardamoms
15g turmeric powder
15g white pepper powder
50g yellow chilli powder
30ml lemon juice
100g ginger-garlic paste
1.5 litre mutton stock
25g green chilli, chopped
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Add in whole garam masala. Then add sliced onion rings and fry for few minutes. Add in washed, cleaned mutton cubes and stir-fry over medium flame. Add salt, turmeric powder, ginger, garlic paste and coriander powder and sauté for 15 minutes.
Add beaten yoghurt, yellow chilli powder and spice bhuna then add mutton stock and cook on dum.
When almost done remove from fire. Discord whole garam masala, then strain the gravy and put back in the pan. Add in fine paste of blanched, peeled and ground almonds and cook further, adjust the seasoning. Add mace, cardamom powder and lemon juice and put in the mutton cubes back in the gravy and cook till done. Drizzle hot water and saffron water. Garnish with gold leaf and green chillies.
6-10g red chillies
3g small cardamoms
Ground sugar and salt to taste
Cut mutton into big pieces, wash and drain. Apply ground spices and set aside.
Heat 100g of fat. Add mutton, sugar and salt and cover and cook over a slow fire till all the water that comes out of the meat is dried. Add just sufficient water to cover meat. When meat is tender add the remaining fat (method) and remove from fire in five minutes.
1kg refined flour
500ml water (warm)
10g salt to taste
Sift flour, add salt and ajwain mix properly. Make dough in warm water. Rest the dough for a while and knead it again. Now make 150g balls of the dough and roll each of these into thin, flat rounds of 8 inches. Apply melted ghee and gold cut into equal size. Stack the pieces on top of each other and press in the middle to stick together. Spread these folded pieces by hand and with the help of a gaddi, stick on the walls of the tandoor. Remove from tandoor when cooked. Serve drizzled with ghee.
Besan Ke Barfi
500g Bengal gram flour
500g, fat or ghee
Fry the gram flour, fat, then remove and set aside. Prepare sugar syrup (Use 1/2 the amount of water to sugar) of one string consistency. Add the fried flour and cook till it forms one lump in the centre of the pan. Remove from fire, sprinkle crushed cardamon and add chopped nuts. Mix well and spread on to greased board 2.5cm (1 inch) in thickness.
Cool and cut into diamond shapes.
100g wheat flour
5g flour for rolling
30g rice flour
A pinch of salt
Sieve flour, add salt and water and make still dough. Sprinkle some water over and set aside for at least one hour. Knead well. Divide into small balls and roll out using rice flour. Bake well on both sides on hot griddle. Toss on hot wok and allow them to cool.
2 kg refined flour
3 level tbsp baking powder
1 heaped table spoon salt
100g melted fat
1 level tbsp sugar
Level cold water mix
Sieve flour mix salt and baking powder. Beat the eggs with sugar and milk and mix with flour. Add cold water and mix well. Make smooth dough, add melted fat and knead well.
Add salt and curd and knead again; the dough should be very smooth. Keep aside for one hour, divide into even sized balls and brush over with melted fat. Rest for a further 20 minutes. Serve each portion with the hand thumb garnish with saffron, and serve hot.