I chanced upon Zaiqa when speaking to Anisa Arif on the phone for something quite unrelated, unaware of her other business interests, i.e. Zaiqa – The Spice Store. When we got talking, she suggested I try out her masalas and promised send over her range in batches, due to their fresh, devoid-of-preservatives nature. True to her word, a package arrived by courier a couple of days later, containing three beautifully packaged, designed-for-reuse masalas.
My first experience with Anisa’s masalas, was with her Lazeez Pepper Masala. Although intending to follow the recipe on the packet, a combination of events ensured I used what I had in the fridge – a neck of lamb as opposed to the recommend lamb chops. Have you ever tried neck before? This is my second time, the first time settling for what I thought would be an utter failure. It turned out quite delicious, yeilding layer after layer of succulent flesh. I also used butter instead of ghee (clarified butter); none available at home. Sometimes I think Indu purposely doesn’t stock the stuff. The recipe on the packet needs a little looking at to make it easier for the average cook to follow. Here’s what I ended up doing. Please note, this isn’t the printed recipe, but is what I ended up doing.
The dish turned out very well, was rich, but not overly so and quite tasty. The packet appears to have enough Masala for 10 such sessions.
- 1 goat neck (500gm as specified on printed recipe)
- 2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 2 tsp Salt
- 200 gm Onion paste (dry sauteed/reduced to 2 – 3 tbsp)
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 1/2 cup Coriander leaves, chopped
- 1.5 tbsp Butter
- 3 tsp Zaiqa Lazeez Pepper Masala powder
- 1 Lemon, juice of
- 1 cup water
- Marinate meat with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste and salt for 2 hours
- In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add reduced onion paste, fry for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Add marinated mutton, salt and water and pressure cook for 20 minutes on high heat then 5 minutes on sim.
- Remove mutton from cooker and set aside.
- Place cooker back on heat.
- Add Zaiqa Pepper Masala Powder to mixture in cooker along with the butter and chopped coriander leaves.
- Saute on low flame for 5 minutes.
- Place neck on platter, pour over pepper gravy.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Serve with rotis or kulchas.
We ate these with butter crisped Kulchas.