There are several Dishes made out of Minced Meat. The mode of mincing, and pounding into different textures etc., and spices used, varies according to different varieties of Dishes to be cooked. ‘Machh’, also called ‘Ganda Machh’ or ‘Kofta’, is a popular preparation made for serving in big Dinners and Feasts, and is also a welcome change in Daily Domestic Menus.
The lean Meat of Leg, Shank or Shoulder, is generally used for mincing, which is done with a Chopping Knife on a Wooden Crosscut Block, usually of Mulberry or Apricot wood. This mode of mincing makes the ‘Machh’ fine and granular.
If mincing is done by means of a machine, then such Minced Meat is subsequently pounded, with Spices etc., in a Mortar with a Pestle (K-‘Havan Dasta’). This ‘Machh’ becomes fine but compact like dough.
1. Minced Meat Chopped Granular, or Machine Minced and Pounded – 1 kg
2. ‘Ghi’ or Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
3. Dry Ginger Powder – 1 tsp
4. Aniseed Powder – 1 tsp
5. Salt – 1 tsp
6. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
7. Asafoetida Solution – 1 tsp
8. Curd – 1 tbsp
9. ‘Garam Masala’ – 1 tsp
10. Some extra oil for greasing the hands.
1. Mustard oil – 1/2 cup
2. Cloves – 3 nos
3. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
4. Asafoetida – 1 tsp
5. Chilli Powder – l/2 to 1 tbsp
6. Turmeric – 1 tsp
7. Curd – 1/2 tea cup
8. Sugar – 1 tsp
9. Dry Ginger Powder – 1 tsp
10. Aniseed Powder – 2 tsp
11. Salt – 1 tsp
12. ‘Garam Masala’ – 1 tsp
13. ‘Ghi’ (Optional) – 1 tbsp
- For Making Granular ‘Machh’, in which case the fine mincing of meat is done with a chopping knife, mix and knead all the ingredients (2 to 9). mentioned above in Ingredients part A, with the Minced Meat. Divide into 30 to 40 portions, each about the size of a small egg. After anointing a little oil on the right hand palm and the front of its fingers, take each portion of the Minced Meat into the hand, one by one, and by alternate-ly opening and half closing the fist, work each mass into a ‘Kofta’, about 3″ long cylindrical piece, ovoid at the ends. The oiling of the palms makes the ‘Koftas’ smooth and compact.
- In case the mincing is done by a Machine, mix with the Minced Meat, items 2 to 9 of part A of Ingredients, and then pound nicely, by means of a Pestle and Mortar, preferably a wooden Pestle and a stone Mortar, called ‘Havan Dasta’ or ‘Chhota Ta Niyam’ in Kashmir, and ‘Okhli’ and ‘Musal’ in Hindi. Thus the ingredients will get mixed uniformly and all turn into a finely beaten Mince. In this case also, ‘Koftas’ are prepared as already described. Sometimes instead of mincing by a chopper or a machine, lean pieces of Meat are pounded on a flat stone by a wooden mallet, as in case of making ‘Goashtaba’, ‘Rista’ etc.
Method of Cooking
- Take a ‘Patila’ or ‘Kadahi’ of about 2 litres capacity. Now ingredients mentioned in part B are used.. Pour the oil in the ‘Patila’ or ‘Kadahi’, and heat it till the froth disappears and the oil begins to smoke. Remove the cooking vessel from the fire for a minute or two, to lower a little the temperature of the oil. Add Cloves, Cumin Seeds, and Asafoetida. Stir well. Then again, while stirring, add Chilli Powder, Turmeric and a quarter cup of water. Again place the ‘Patila’ on the stove and resume heating on medium flame. Go on stirring with a ladle till oil acquires a reddish brown colour and begins to separate.
- Add half a cup of well beaten Curd, and continue stirring till the Curd also gets a little fried and all blends into thick reddish brown sauce. Now add half a litre of water, Ginger Powder, Aniseed Powder and Salt. Stir and mix well. Place all the ‘Koftas’, one by one, gently in the vessel and let the whole boil slowly for 15 minutes to half an hour, till most of the water disappears and the gravy thickens and oil begins to separate again. Add Pure ‘Ghi’ and the ‘Garam Masala’ and mix it, by lifting the pot with a cloth or tongs and shaking it gently so that ‘Koftas’ do not split. ‘Machh’ is now ready to be served.
- If it is not to be served immediately, then in that case add ‘Garam Masala’ and ‘Ghi’ at the time of serving, while heating again the cooking pot on a low flame. Sometimes an extra pinch, each of ground Big Cardamom Seeds and Cinnamon, are also added at the end for additional aroma and flavour.