The great chef’s life in Delhi.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Meet the Julia Child of Nizamuddin East, an artsy neighbourhood of bungalows, ruins and gardens in central Delhi. The author of Sufism: The Heart of Islam, Ms Child, aka Sadia Dehlvi, is a restless woman who anxiously paces across the length of her living room if she has nothing else to do. Her conversations range from the wonders of her Apple Mac laptop to the perennial hijab crisis in France. She lives with her son, Arman, and cook, Sabir. And yes, Ms Dehlvi cooks. Here is the recipe of her ‘aloo saalan’, or ‘aloo gosht’.
This is the first time I’m doing this. I have never before shared my recipe for aloo salaan. It is a typical Delhi Muslim dish. Mostly you find it in home kitchens, not on the restaurant menus.
½ kg mutton (chop, foreleg, shank et cetera)
300 gm potatoes; each potato sliced into halves
200 gm curd
1 cup of deep fried onion rings
1 table spoon ginger paste
1 table spoon garlic paste
1 tea spoon red chilli powder
1 tea spoon coriander powder
½ tea spoon garam masala
salt to taste
4 black cardamon
1 stick cinnamon
1 tea cup vegetable oil
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. As it start crackling, add cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. As they spatter in the oil, add coriander powder, chilli powder, salt, ginger and garlic paste, along with a half teacup of water. Keep stirring till the spices starts leaving oil. Now add mutton pieces. Cook on a high flame, stirring occasionally till the oil surfaces. Blend the deep-fried onion rings and curd in an electric mixer and pour it over the meat. Stir till the oil surfaces. Add three teacups of water. Close the cooker with its lid and cook till the first whistle. Open the lid and add potatoes into the cooker. Cook again till another whistle. The aloo saalan is done. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle garama masala. Serve with rotis.
Slice the potatoes
Get the spices
Where’s the clove?
Start on with the meat
Add the curd-onion mash
Aloo Saalan is ready