Kunna Gosht

Kunna Gosht is a flavourful mutton curry, a speciality of Chiniot, a city in Punjab Pakistan. In Punjabi, a round clay pot is called a Kunna, hence the name Kunna Gosht. Traditionally this recipe is cooked by combining mutton trotters and shanks with a few basic spices in a sealed clay pot, which is then buried underground. A bonfire is lit over the buried pot slowly cooking its contents over a period of 4 to 6 hours.

While the Chinioti version of this recipe is made using mutton I was forced to opt for lamb meat because of the unavailability of mutton where I reside. It is highly recommended you use shank or leg cuts for this recipe. The stock and bone marrow released during the slow cooking of lamb shanks increase the flavour tenfold. This dish stands out from other meat delicacies due to its distinct aroma and rich stock-based curry.

I would have loved to cook this recipe more authentically in my clay pot (minus the underground part) but the idea of a round bottomed pot on a portable gas stove with 2 toddlers clutching my trousers as I cook was too intimidating. As excited as I was to finally use the pot my mom brought for me from Pakistan 2 years ago, it was sadly returned to its eternal place on the lazy Susan in the blind corner.

How to Make Kunna Gosht

Making Kunna Gosht is an amazingly simple process, especially if you have the spice blend ready. I usually make a small batch of my Kunna spice mix and store it in an airtight container till needed.

Dry Roast Spices in a pan on low heat until they are fragrant. Keep stirring spices at regular intervals to avoid burning them.

Blend Spices into a fine powder after they have cooled down. Allowing spices to cool before blending is important or else the steam will create lumps.

Sear Lamb or Mutton Shanks in oil with onions and Kunna spice mix until they change color. Then add water and allow the shanks to cook on a low simmer for 2-3 hours.

Add Flour Slurry when meat is 90% cooked and continue cooking for at least 30 minutes more to get rid of any raw flour taste.

Temper with Ghee and Kunna Spice, an optional step but this adds a beautiful red hue to the Kunna Gosht.

Ingredients:

FOR KUNNA SPICE MIX:
  • White Cumin 1 tbsp.
  • Dried Red Chilli 1
  • Coriander Seed 2 tbsp.
  • Fennel Seeds 2 tbsp.
  • Black Cumin 1 tsp.
  • Cloves 1 tsp.
  • Cinnamon 1 stick
  • Green Cardamom 5-6
  • Black Cardamom 2
  • Bay Leaf
  • Nutmeg ½ tsp.
  • Mace ¼ tsp.
  • Red Chilli Powder 1 tbsp.
  • Salt 1 tbsp.
  • Turmeric ½ tsp.
  • Garlic Powder 1 tbsp.
  • Ginger Powder 1 tbsp.
FOR KUNNA GOSHT:
  • Lamb or Mutton Shanks 1 kg (cut into big chunks)
  • Oil ½ cup
  • Onion 1; sliced
  • Kunna Spice Mix 2-3 tbsp.
  • Minced Garlic 2 tbsp.
  • Wheat Flour 2-3 tbsp.
  • Water 500 ml
  • Red Chilli Powder ¼ tsp.

Instructions:

Dry roast all the whole spices (cumin, dried red chilli, coriander, fennel, black cumin, cloves, cinnamon, green and black cardamom, bay leaf, nutmeg, and mace) in a pan on low heat until fragrant. Once the spices have cooled transfer spices into a spice blender along with red chilli powder, salt, turmeric, ginger powder, garlic powder and blend everything into a smooth powder. You can store this spice mix in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Heat oil in a pot and add onions and fry till golden. Add shanks, kunna spice mix and minced garlic and fry until meat changes colour. Pour in water and bring everything to a boil. Cover with a secure lid and reduce heat to low. Cook meat on a simmer for 2-3 hours or until meat is 90% cooked. Dissolve wheat flour in ½ cup water, make sure there are no lumps. Add wheat slurry to the simmering kunna while stirring continuously. Cook kunna for 30 minutes more until meat is fully cooked.

In a separate pan heat ½ cup oil or Ghee. Once the oil is hot add in 1 teaspoon kunna spice mix and ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder and fry for 30 seconds. Pour this chilli oil over kunna gosht. Serve hot with Naan topped with julienned ginger, sliced green chillies and lemon slices.

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