Pappa nu Ghosh


Named after their late grandfather Zainul—fondly called “pappa”—whose recipe this is, for cousins Lamiya and Adil, Pappa nu Ghosh tastes like nostalgia more than anything else. Adil, who lived with Zainul in Mumbai, remembers it as a Sunday staple, while Lamiya reminisces about her summer vacations when Pappa Zainul would visit her family in Hyderabad by train, bringing with him a big tiffin carrier filled with this ghosh, along with mangoes and chocolates. He would often make it for his guests. “It travelled well,” says Lamiya. Cooking the ghosh in generous amounts of ghee and its own fat—minus any water—not only made it decadently soft, but also ensured its freshness. 

Lamiya and Adil are both avid cooks, with most of their cooking interpreted from their pappa’s recipes. This one, however, is an unchanged original from his cookbook. While the dish itself is indulgent, the recipe is fuss-free, a relatively easy undertaking for anyone new to the kitchen.

Ghee 200 grams
Ginger-garlic paste 1 tablespoon
Mutton curry cut, with fat 500 grams
Green Chilli, slit lengthwise 1 (optional)
Salt 1 teaspoon + to taste

Pressure cooker


In a pressure cooker, add the ghee, ginger-garlic paste, mutton pieces, a green chilli (if using) and a teaspoon of salt. Mix well and close the lid.


Place the cooker on a gas range with a medium flame till 4 whistles are completed.


Following the fourth whistle, lower the flame to its minimum setting, and carefully hold up the whistle to allow the built-up steam to escape completely.


Once the pressure is released, remove the whistle and open the lid of the pressure cooker. Take care to ensure your hands are protected from the heat and steam.


Cook the meat for approximately 20 more minutes or until the meat is tender. Check every 5 minutes or so to make sure it does not burn. Add a few tablespoons of water, if needed. A good indication of tender meat is when it falls off the bone with little to no added force. 


At this stage, adjust the salt level as needed.


Once the meat is tender, turn off the flame and serve hot. This dish is best enjoyed on its own, including the melted fat and meat juices, or served with chapatis or some steamed rice.

Lamiya Amiruddin (@lamiyaamiruddin) is a Mumbai-based, self-taught home chef specialising in tea cakes, chocolate-coated biscuits, and mustard sauce, whose recipes have been passed down through generations in her family.


This recipe is a part of ‘A Longing for Home Food Booth’, an oral food memories project from The Locavore’s immersive installation at the Serendipity Arts Festival, 2023.


Listen to the complete memory of the recipe by visiting this link: Pappa nu Ghosh

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