What Is Gosht?

Eugene P.

Gosht is the name of a wide array of Indian and Pakistani dishes that involve cooked meat. The word itself simply means "meat" or "flesh" and does not really refer to any one type of meat, but rather to a type of spiced curry in which the central ingredient is meat. The dish, which can be very spicy, is often served alongside Indian bread such as naan, over rice or as part of a larger spread of curries. There are different names for the various types of gosht, sometimes denoting the type of meat or ingredients being used, or the cooking style in which the dish is prepared. Some examples of the different names are aloo, made with potatoes in the mixture; saag, made with a spinach-based sauce; and bhuna, which means the meat is cooked very slowly.

Ground corinader seeds are often added to gosht.
Ground corinader seeds are often added to gosht.

In gosht, the meat used can be from nearly anything. Lamb, chicken and goat are the most popular choices, partially because of religious dietary restrictions for some residents of India and Pakistan, and partially because of the availability of the meats. The meat is usually chopped into cubes, sometimes very small cubes, so it can better absorb the spices. Some recipes call for a marinade, usually of yogurt, lemon and onion water, although this is rare.

Gosht can be served with yogurt and chopped herbs.
Gosht can be served with yogurt and chopped herbs.

The first step in the preparation of gosht is to sautee onions, garlic and ginger until they have cooked. These are very common ingredients in recipes for gosht. Next, the spices in which the meat will be cooked are added to the pan, sometimes with water to make a paste, and then cooked until roasted and aromatic. Ground spices such as turmeric, cardamom, coriander and chili flakes are all normal additions, as are spice mixtures such as garam masala.

The meat is added to the cooked spices along with any additional ingredients that require cooking, such as potatoes, spinach or eggplant. In one version, the pot is filled with water until the meat is just barely covered. Another recipe calls for the temperature to be raised and the meat to be cooked very quickly over high heat. The slow-cooked, braised version is more common.

When being braised, the meat is allowed to simmer slowly for many hours. When the process is completed, it will be very tender and infused with the flavor of all the spices that were added. The sauce that remains in the pot should be very thick and can be served with the meat directly out of the cooking pan. The final gosht can be accompanied by yogurt, Indian bread or rice.

Bhuna is an example of Gosht.
Bhuna is an example of Gosht.

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