Rezala -Royal indulgence By Shawkat Osman

February 22, 2013

The Daily Star- January 8 2013

Rezala……The word ‘rezala’ indicates some person called Reza, who is either the creator or the patron of the creator of this meat dish. Rezala, made popular by the Dhaka Nawab Bari, is a festive meal and an indispensable accompaniment to polao.

1 kg chevon, cut into pieces, 3 tbsp ghee, 6 red onions, sliced, 250g yoghurt, 1 tsp mace, pounded ½ tsp Nutmeg, grated 3 tejpata, 10 cloves, 10 cardamom pods, 10 green chillies, slit’ 2 tsp green chilli paste and 2 tbsp garlic paste.


Heat 3 tablespoons ghee in a korai/wok and sauté the onions until golden. With a slotted spoon strain out the onions, and grind with 1 tablespoon water (baresta paste). Transfer the remaining ghee to a small container and reserve.In a large mixing bowl, combine the following: baresta paste, yoghurt, mace, nutmeg, tejpata, cloves, green cardamom, green chilli, green chilli paste, garlic paste, ginger paste. Whisk to get a smooth paste. Dunk the meat into the mixing bowl; rub with your fingers to coat them with the spice. Cover the bowl with cling-film. Marinate refrigerated for eight hours.After the marinating period; with a pair of kitchen tongs, pick out the meat pieces, scrape off marinade sticking to meat, and lay them on a platter. Retain the marinade and set both items aside to bring them to room temperature.Place a deghchi/pot over a medium flame, pour in: 4 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons ghee, reserved ghee. When fat is very hot, toss in the dry red chillies.As soon as the chillies turn a shade darker; chuck in the meat pieces. Sauté, turning frequently until meat browns on all sides.

Add: marinade, rose water, and kewra water, salt. Mix up. Cook until tender.

Occasionally scrape the base and sides of the deghchi/pot with a wooden khunti/rubber spatula. If the gravy tends to catch the bottom of the deghchi/pot, sprinkle 2 tablespoons water and dilute the gravy. This will bring down the cooking temperature and help to avoid scorching.Alternatively you may cook it in a preheated oven. Make soft dough with the plain flour and enough water. Roll out the dough into a long thin strip; place the strip on the rim of the pot, covering the whole circumference. Rest the lid on the dough strip and firmly press down to attach the lid with the dough tightly.Place deghchi/pot in a preheated oven (170ºC) and cook for 40 minutes. Baking in a sealed deghchi/pot gives the dish extra flavour…..

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