Cooking With Spices | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 16, 2018

Cooking With Spices

If you are a fan of Bangladeshi food, you should be aware that a vast range of spices are used to prepare every dish. From cumin to ginger to turmeric, every element gives out a special aroma and flavour. Without FRESH spices, food would never ever be quintessential to our taste buds. Grilled beef to aromatic biriyani, if there are no spices, no one wants a piece!

Grilled beef heart kebabs

This is a great example of nose-to-tail eating. Beef heart is a working muscle, and like any good steak, needs fast cooking over high heat to remain tender. Beef heart kebabs might seem like a recipe for the adventurous, but they are absolutely delicious and not offaly as one might expect, but lean and satisfyingly rich.


500g beef heart, trimmed and cut into small cubes

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves toasted garlic, peeled, roughly chopped

1 inch fresh ginger, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

2 large red or green chilies, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tbsp tabasco sauce

100ml apple cider vinegar

Fried potatoes and coriander for serving

10 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

1 tsp FRESH Chilli Powder


Marinate the meat at least 30 minutes before you cook it. To make the marinade, pound the ingredients in a pestle and mortar, start by grinding the dry ingredients (cumin, salt and oregano) to a powder. Next add the chilli, garlic, ginger, and FRESH Chilli Powder and grind to a paste, then add the tomato purée, tabasco and vinegar. Stir and mix well. Cover the meat in the marinade and mix thoroughly. Once marinated, skewer the meat, and cook the kebabs on a very hot BBQ grill for 3 minutes on each side or until tender. Serve with fried potatoes and coriander.

Keema kaleji

Keema kaleji is a rich curry dish prepared with two basic ingredients, Keema which is minced meat and kaleji which is the liver part of the meat. This dish can be served for parties and small gatherings and with a different taste. Ideally, you may accompany it with naan or paratha.


½kg lamb liver, cleaned and cut into cubes

½kg minced lamb

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

2 tsp FRESH Chilli Powder

½ tsp FRESH Turmeric Powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

3 large onions, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

½ tsp garam masala powder

4 green chillies, chopped

1 tsp lemon wedges

6 tbsp oil

Salt to taste


Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan, and add the green chillies and saute for half a minute. Add the lamb liver and salt and saute over high heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the pan and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in a thick bottomed pan, add the cumin seeds and when they begin to change colour, add the onions and fry till golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for one minute. Add the tomatoes and salt, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes over low heat. Add FRESH chilli powder, FRESH turmeric powder, and coriander powder and continue to cook for another minute. Add the minced mutton, saute for few minutes and stir in a cup of water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the cooked liver and garam masala powder, cook for 5 minutes. When it is done, garnish with coriander leaves and lemon wedges.

Mutton Dumpukht

Dumpukht is a famous dish of Iran, and also known as an Indian and Pakistani dish. Dumpukht was made popular in India by the Mughals, starting around the 16th century. This mutton recipe follows the ancient method of cooking the curry over very low heat, sealing the vessel on all the sides. This authentic style of cooking the meat on low heat makes the mutton tender and helps the spices to penetrate into the meat better, which in turn increases the flavour of the dish. Mutton Dumpukht is prepared with a blend of some very fragrant spices and herbs. This spicy and mouth-watering delight is simply irresistible.


1kg mutton, cut into pieces

3 onions, finely chopped

7 garlic cloves, chopped

1 inch ginger, chopped

4 green cardamoms

7 black peppercorns, 4 cloves

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 black cardamom

1 cup curd

4 green chillies

1 tbsp FRESH chilli powder

½ cup mint leaves, chopped

½ cup coriander leaves, chopped

1 cup wheat flour

3 tbsp soyabean oil

Salt to taste


Clean and wash the mutton pieces. Grind mint, coriander, green cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, cumin seeds, black cardamom with about 2 tablespoons of water into a paste in a mixer. Marinate the mutton with this spice paste and yoghurt, and keep aside for 2 hours. Heat soyabean oil in a deep-bottom pan and add onions and fry for about 5-6 minutes on medium flame. Then add ginger, garlic, green chillies, FRESH Chilli powder and fry for another 2 minutes. Now add the marinated mutton, sprinkle salt and cook for about 7-8 minutes. When the oil starts separating from the mutton, add one cup of water and mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the flame. Knead semi soft dough of the wheat flour with water and seal the top of the pan with it. Let it cook on very low heat for 30-35 minutes. Once done, switch off the flame and keep it covered for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy this special dish with rice or naan.


Food prepared by Salina Parvin

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News