Beef or Lamb Jhal Faraizi
This dish is a speciality of the Anglo–Indian community and probably started as a way to use up leftover roast lamb or beef. When there were no leftovers and there was a craving for the dish, fresh meat was diced small and boiled with a little salt and ginger until it was tender and this was used instead. These days if you don’t have leftovers, you can buy roast beef from a delicatessen (ask them to cut the slices 7 mm/1⁄3 inch thick – you will need just a few). Jhal means ‘heat from hot chillies’, so chillies are an essential ingredient. I found this recipe in an old Anglo–Indian cookery book in Calcutta, and it’s the one I like best. It’s something like a hash brown, only spicy. This can be served for breakfast with or without eggs, or by itself with a salad.
- 340g floury potatoes, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- ½ tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 7mm/1/3inch dice
- 2-3 fresh, hot green chillies (such as bird’s eye), chopped
- 340g roast beef or lamb, cut into 7mm/1⁄3inch dice
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Boil the potatoes ahead of time and set aside to cool. Peel them and then cut into 7mm/1⁄3inch dice.
Put the oil in a large frying pan, preferably non-stick, and set over a medium–high heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 5 seconds. Add the onion, potatoes and chillies. Lower the heat to medium. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion turns somewhat translucent. Now add the meat, salt and lots of black pepper. Stir and mix for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium–low. Press down on all the ingredients with a spatula to form a flat cake that fills the pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, shifting and turning the pan so that the bottom of the ‘cake’ browns evenly. Break it up and serve hot.