indian cuisine
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Indian Cuisines

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Pasanda

Pasanda is a popular North Indian and Pakistani Uttarpradesi meat dish, derived from a meal served in the Court of the Moghul Emperors. The word is a variation on the Hindi word "pasande," or "the favorite one," which refers to the prime cut of meat traditionally used within. The word also has linkings to the Urdu word "Pansand" meaning "liked".

Ingredients and Preparation

Pasanda was originally made with leg of lamb, flattened into strips, marinated, and fried in a dish with multiple seasonings. In the present day, pasanda is also made using beef, mutton, chicken and turkey; in each case, the process and ingredients remain generally the same.

After the meat is cut and flattened it is placed in a marinade consisting of yoghurt, chile powder, and numerous spices and seasonings, which commonly include cumin, peppercorn, cardamom, garlic, and garam masala. After a few hours of marination, the meat is placed in a saucepan with the other ingredients that make up the "pasanda" itself- onions, coriander, chillies, and sometimes cinnamon and/or black pepper then fried for 30 minutes to an hour. The dish may subsequently be garnished with tomatoes or almonds (in which case it is known as badaam pasanda). It is often served with white rice or naan bread on the side.

Although pasanda is usually served as a meat dish, it may also be prepared in kebab form. Reflecting the dish's flavor and its connection with the almond, pasanda also refers to a mild curry sauce made with cream, coconut milk, and almonds.

Pasanda is spicy and heavily seasoned, but to a lesser extent than for most Indian dishes. As such, it is considered a relatively accessible dish for Westerners, appropriate for use as an introduction to Indian cooking in general.

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