Chittagong is the second most important place in Bangladesh after the capital Dhaka . Apart from it’s geo political importance , scenic beauty, it is world famous for it’s mezbani beef curry . If I’m asked, what Chittagong is famous for , the first thing that would pop into my head is “mezbani gorur mangsho” or “Mezbani beef”.
Mezbani is one of the traditions of Chittagong . “Mezban” is a Persian word which means host . Mezbani means a grand feast arranged by the host to entartain the whole community . So it is kind of community feasting arranged for some special occassions like Eid E Miladunnabbi , wedding , birth celebration or even death aaniversary . The main attraction of this feast is undoubtedly the special curry beef prepared for the program . It’s hard to find the actual recipes as this special curry beef is always cooked in large quantity and by some prominent , specific bawarchis , who are not interested in sharing the recipe at all .
This is my humble attempt to try Mezbani “style” beef , I’m saying Mezbani style , because I don’t dare saying I will replicate the recipe. :)
2 kg beef
2 and 1/2 tbl spoon ginger paste
1 and 1/2 tbl spoon garlic paste
5 or 6 whole garlic cloves , pounded
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup onion paste
1 cup thick cubed onion
2 tbl spoon red chili powder
2 tea spoon turmeric powder
1 tea spoon coriander powder
2 tbl spoon poppyseed( posto) paste
6/7 green cardamom
2 cinnamon stick ( 2″ long)
1 tea spoon cloves
1 tea spoon black pepper
Mustard oil+ any vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1-2 tbl spoon ,special masala for mezbani beef
For the special Masala>
2-3 dry red chili ( dry roasted)
4 tbl spoon cumin ( dry roaste)
2 tbl spoon coriander ( dry roasted)
1 tbl spoon fennel/ mouri/ sauf ( dry roasted)
2 tea spoon sha jeera ( lightly dry roasted)
4 star anise
6 black cardamom
15 green cardamom
2 tea spoon cinnamon powder
1/2 (half) tbl spoon clove
1/2 (half) tbl spoon black pepper
1 tea spoon white pepper
2 tea spoon Mace/ Javetri powder ( dry roasted)
1/2 tea spoon nutmeg powder
1 tea spoon kababchini powder
1 tea spoon poppy seed ( dry roasted)
1 tea spoon methi/ fenugreek
2 tbl spoon paprika powder
Dry roast separately the ingredients mentioned above for dryroasting . Now grind them together into a fine powder .
1. Marinate the beef with all the ingredients , except thinly sliced onion .
2. Heat oil and add the thinly sliced onion . Fry until dark brown . Now add the marinated beef . And cook on low flame for at least 2 and 1/2 hours stirring occasionally and adding water little by little, what we call ” koshano” in Bangla, if needed .
This type of beef need long ” koshano ” to get the best flavor .
Square Khasta Paratha:
1 cup Atta
1 tbl spoon melted ghee or oil
1 tea spoon sugar
Salt , a pinch
Water ( aound 1/4 th cup)
Ghee/ dalda/ shortening
Ghee or dalda or oil
1. Make a medium soft dough with 1 cup atta , 1 tbl spoon melted ghee or oil , sugar , salt and water . Knead very well . Cover the dough with a damp cloth for at least half n hour .
2. Make small balls from the dough . Roll the balls into round disk . Now apply some melted ghee/ dalda/ shortening and dry out this with cornstarch . Fold one side lengthwise inward to the center . Fold from the opposite side too . Now apply some more ghee on it and dry out with cornstarch . Fold the two ends into the shape of a square .
3. grease the rolling pin and the counter top . Roll the paratha .
4. Dry each paratha without oil/ ghee first . Then apply some ghee and fry again until crisp .