Stewing a rooster ishtoo

Pushpesh Pant

The author of those strains was born and introduced up in a small hill station the place the chowkidar-cum-khansama, Paan Singh, took nice satisfaction within the stew he cooked. He had realized the recipe from a memsahib whose husband had served at this outpost. As youngsters we discovered the gem in his repertoire a bit bland and most popular the rooster roast or grilled chops he routinely turned out. It was years later once we encountered the desi ishtoo, first in Old Delhi after which in Purana Bhopal, that it dawned upon us that the previous man was rendering a reasonably trustworthy imitation of the Irish stew. In Kerala we now have loved a mildly spiced, but exquisitely flavourful stew, not ishtoo. Let’s not digress although. What is in a reputation? In this case, it isn’t simply the pronunciation that’s totally different, the spicing and the thickness of the gravy additionally range from place to position. The unique is a one pot dish the place the meat, together with greens, is sluggish cooked in its personal juices. Ishtoo in Delhi and Bhopal traces its lineage to do pyaaza and dum pukht. The meat — mutton or rooster — is braised and cooked with a number of onions, complete pink chillies and black peppercorns. To reduce the sweetness of onions, slightly curd is added. Those who can’t do with out aromatics could add complete spices like cloves and cardamom. Our buddy Osama Jalai seems a imply rooster ishtoo following the household recipe, a Rampur gharana heirloom. Here, we tweak it a bit.

Chicken Ishtoo


Chicken (with out pores and skin) 750 g

Onions 1 kg

Garlic 2-Three cloves

Whole pink chillies 8-10

Black peppercorns half of tsp

Curd 2 tbsp

Salt to style

Ghee/Oil 1/four cup

A spring of recent mint or coriander for garnishing


  • Cut the rooster into 8-10 items. Wash and pat dry.
  • Peel the onions and slice them not too effective. Crush the garlic cloves. Wipe dry the entire pink chillies.
  • Heat ghee/oil in a thick bottomed pan. When sizzling, add the rooster items, sliced onions and crushed garlic. Stir effectively to combine and add curd and black peppercorns.
  • Add the chillies fastidiously; these mustn’t break, or else the stew may turn into too sizzling to deal with! Sprinkle salt ultimately.
  • Cover the pan with a decent lid and prepare dinner on medium-low flame for about 25 minutes. Uncover as soon as half approach and stir with a light-weight hand. Uncover to examine if achieved to style.
  • It ought to have a skinny, however not watery, sauce-like gravy, golden in hue. Garnish with mint or coriander. Enjoy with phulka or steamed rice.
  • Use the recipe for mutton ishtoo too. The cooking time will increase by 30 minutes or so. The most popular cuts of meat are shoulder, neck and puth.

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