Indian cuisine is one with many influences and historic anecdotes. From royal Mughlai treat in Lucknow and Hyderabad to the Portuguese culture in the Goan cuisine, India’s diverse flavours can be sampled at every corner. The Kayasths, as courtiers to the Mughal kings, has perhaps had the closest view to the royal kitchens of the Mughals and thus has some of the culinary secrets from the cooking techniques and ingredients, hidden in their own recipes. While mutton kofte is a traditional feast of every Mathur-Kayastha celebration, Pasanda or Parsinde, as known in Mathur-Kayastha household, is sort of a heritage delicacy made from goat meat. Red meat has always found its way in the repertoire of traditional Kayastha dishes, influenced by the Mughals. Parsinde is however, slowly losing out touch with modern day cooking perhaps due to the laborious process of cooking it. In a little more than two decades of my life, I’ve had pasande cooked by my mother just about three times!  Another reason of its slow disappearance could be that not too many cooks know how to make a proper pasanda. It is one of those rare dishes you might have heard of but never tasted, simply because restaurants don’t make it and cooking an authentic dish of Parsinde is limited to Kayastha household.  

Pasanda is a choicest cut of meat, which borrows its name from the Urdu word "pasand".  Irregular pieces of goat meat skin, cut to be stuffed with a heavenly masala loaded with dessicated coconut, sliced slivers of almonds, dry fruits and onion. These would be carefully rolled up, tied and sealed with a string before being lowered into the aromatic gravy, which is actually made with select spices. The parsinde are slow-cooked in ‘dum’ style with the gravy until it thickens. 

While the process looks simple on paper, it is a painstaking task to stuff, tie and cook the meat. But the result is worth the wait as you mosh upon the delicately stuffed meat tossed around with thick masaladar gravy.


   


Here’s an authentic Mathur-Kayastha recipe of Parsinde/Pasanda that you can try at home: 

Courtesy: Poonam Mathur 

Ingredients: 

Goat Meat (irregular pieces of akin, cut with criss-cross) 

For Stuffing: 

Dessicated coconut 

Green chillies (finely chopped) 

Green Coriander (finely chopped) 

Ginger (finely chopped) 

Almonds (finely chopped) 

Kishmish (finely chopped) 

Onions (very little amount, finely chopped) 

For Gravy:

Salt 

Red chillli powder 

Turmeric 

Coriander powder 

Khus Khus 

Dalchini 

Laung 

Garam masala 

Choti Elaichi 

Method:

1. For the stuffing, mix all the ingredients required for it. 

2. Wash and clean the goat pieces and stuff the masala inside it neatly.  

3. Seal the meat pieces tightly with the help of a thread. Let it rest. 

4. Now for the gravy, blend and roast ginger, garlic and onion together and roast in ghee or hot oil.  

5. Blend khus khus, dalchini and laung together along with salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder. 

6. Add it to the roasted masala along with a few cups of water for gravy. Mix well.  

7. Now as the gravy simmers, add the sealed meat pieces to it. You can either slow-cook it or pressure cook it for 5-6 whistles.  

8. When done, add garam masala and ground choti elaichi to it. Let it cook on dum for another 40-45 minutes until the gravy thickens.  

9. Serve it hot, topped with coriander leaves.  

It goes best with rumali roti!