Some foods elicit a visceral response and surprisingly (to me) Pasanday are one of them. My mother's Mirch Pasanday aside Pasanday were not a dish that spoke to me. I learnt to make this version when I was in my teens and it was a chore. It gave me little joy to cook or eat. Now the adult me just adores them - I love the way the deep smoky spices mix, love the tender enough for roti meat, love mixing pieces with my daal and eating them - all of it. I especially love that this Pasanday Recipe is made in the Instant Pot which means its such a quick cook.
What are Pasanday?
Pasanday are basically very thin fillets of beef. Their thinness means two things
1.) a reduced cooking time
2.) that there's also this masala coating the surface - so much surface
This Pasanday Recipe (and frankly all traditional recipes) will not give you a curry consistency. Instead you will get a drier dish with some masala and while you will most certainly wish there was more doubling down on the onion will alter the taste and texture. Please don't.
What meat should I buy for Pasanday?
In Pakistan we always asked the butcher for under cut which is the meat from near the spine of the cow. In North America we call it tenderloin. To get the cooking times right though you must make sure your meat is cut into strips - pasanday pieces from desi butchers are roughly 3 to 3.5 inches wide and 8-10 inches long. Traditionally you would cook the whole piece and break in to small chunks with your spoon later but I trim them down in advance.
Seven Simple Steps to Making this Instant Pot Pasanday Recipe
1.) Saute your whole spices
2.) Add a diced onion and cook till the edges are golden
3.) Mix in your ginger and garlic (fresh makes a HUGE difference here!)
4.) Add the meat and the spices, saute till the meat changes colour.
5.) Stir in 1.5 cup of hot water and let the IP do it's thing for 8 minutes
6.) Quick release, saute to dry extra liquid
7.) Stir in yogurt, adjust seasoning and dig in!
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- 1 lb beef pasanday
- ⅓ cup neutral cooking oil
- 4-6 black peppers
- 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 black cardamom (bari illaichi)
- 1 onion, diced
- ¾ inch piece of ginger - grated (or 1 rounded tsp of ginger paste)
- 6 cloves crushed/minced garlic (or 1 rounded tsp garlic paste)
- ½-3/4 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp red chili flakes
- ½ tsp red chili powder (cayenne)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ cup yogurt, whipped, room temperature
Heat the oil in your Instant Pot on Saute, Normal heat.
When it shimmers add the cinnamon, cloves, whole black pepper, and cardamom, saute for 30 seconds and when aromatic add the onions
Saute the onions stirring occasionally until the edges turn golden brown
Then add your ginger and garlic, saute for a minute
Now add the meat followed by the spices (salt, chili powder, chili flakes, garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric)
Saute stirring frequently until all the meat changes color
Now add a cup and a half of hot water, stir and set the instant pot on manual for 8 minutes
Quick release when done and check for tenderness, if your meat isn't as soft as you would like you can simmer it for a little longer otherwise turn on the saute mode to dry up the masala
When the oil rises to the top then turn the Instant Pot off and gradually add your yogurt
The yogurt will cook in the residual heat, stir gently to combine, taste, adjust seasoning and serve.
Stove top instructions: Follow all the instructions as is until you get to the Instant Pot pressure part. Instead add two and a half cups of hot water, bring to a boil and simmer (covered) until tender then proceed with the remaining steps.
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