How Good Is Your Aloo Gosht (Potato and Meat Curry)?

Saad Rana Jul 20 2014
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Aloo gosht is one of the well known and all time favorite curry of Pakistani cuisine. It should be known that none of the Pakistani kitchens should be deprived of this special curry. Try it with yoghurt and you may find a new way to cook. It consists of potatoes “aloo” and gosht “meat.” The meat is usually mutton (goat) or lamb, in a stew like shorba gravy. The dish can be served and eaten with plain rice or with bread such as roti, paratha or naan.

There are various methods of cooking aloo gosht. Generally, the preperation involves cooking lamb or mutton pieces over medium heat with various spices, simmered with potatoes. To prepare, a specified quantity of lamb meat or mutton (cut into chunks) is first added. Tomatoes, along with cinnamon, bay leaves, ginger, garlic, red chili powder, cumin seeds, fried onions, black cardamom, garam masala and cooking oil are added and stirred. Potatoes and salt are applied and mixed. Water is also added, in a proportion that is enough to cover the meat, and the dish is heated until it is brought to boil. The aloo gosht is covered and left to simmer until the meat becomes tender. Once ready, it may be garnished with chopped coriander and served hot.

The gosht ‘meat’

Mutton, or goat meat, offers plenty of nutritional value and greater health benefits. It carries good amount of important vitamins and minerals. With the high amount of unsaturated fat present in it, it helps lower bad cholesterol. Comparatively, goat meat also contains higher potassium content with lower sodium levels. The nutritive value of goat meat is become increasingly important in the health management of people. Not only is goat meat lower in total fat and cholesterol, but it is also lower in saturated fats than traditional meats like beef and lamb. Saturated fatty acids, which form solid or semisolid form in room temperature, cause cholesterol levels to rise. The amount of cholesterol in the food has only a moderate effect on the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Furthermore, the amount of saturated fat in goat meat is less than the total amount of unsaturated fats, which is important in human nutrition.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are liquid form at room temperature, are known to decrease the risk for heart disease and stroke. Less saturated fats and a relatively high proportion of unsaturated  fats make mutton a healthy meat choice. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, saturated fats (bad fats) increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions, while unsaturated fats (good fats) improve cholesterol levels, ease inflammation and stabilize heart rhythms. Mutton is a great source for both zinc and iron. Iron is very important in the formation of red blood cells while zinc is vital for growth, healing as well as aquiring a healthy immune system. As compared to other sources of these minerals, the iron and zinc found in mutton is easily absorbed.

Aloo ‘potatoe’

Experts tell us that potatoes are not only tasty additions to your diet but carry enormous health benefits as well. Nutrionists at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland report that potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals that protect against cancer and promote hearth health. Eating potatoes can reduce inflammation. How? Potatoes are wholesome, nightshade vegetables loaded with carbohydrates, protein, calcium, niacin and vitamin C. Because of the fiber in potatoes, they are soft and easily digestible. The vitamin C in potatoes make them great antioxidants which repair cells in the body. Potatoes can relieve inflammation in the intestines and digestive track.

Eating potatoes can increase brain function. The brain or nerve center of your body relies on several things to function including balanced glucose levels, oxygen, vitamin B complex, amino acids and Omega-3 fatty acids. Potatoes contain these elements and so much more to keep your brain performing as it should. Potatoes can help prevent cardiovascular disease. The Agricultural Research Service in America has identified 60 different phytochemicals and vitamins in potatoes. Many of these are flavonoids which help protect against cardiovascular disease by lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol and keeping arteries fat free. The B vitamins in potatoes also protect arteries. Vitamin B6 reduces levels of a molecule called homocysteine which is involved in inflammation and the blocking of arteries. High homocysteine levels are associated with a significantly increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Potatoes relieve stress. They are exceedingly rich in vitamin B6, a substance needed for cellular renewal, a healthy nervous system and balanced mood. It is used to make neurotransmitters, substances that deliver messages from one cell to the next. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine are needed for the regulation of mood and vitamin B6 is needed to make them. It is also used to make adrenaline, a hormone that help us respond to stress, and GABA, a substance linked to relaxation and a feeling of wellbeing.

Conclusion

Aloo gosht is a popular and tasty dish in the Pakistani cuisine. Don’t go without it, as the benefits of both meat (mutton) and potatoe when eaten together are astronomical.

Saad Rana

Saad Rana:

As a current dental student at Ziauddin University, Saad takes an interest in health, fitness and nutrition. He writes articles based on research through on-line publications as well as consulting various doctors and nutrition and fitness experts. When he's not writing for Health TV, you can find him studying, exercising or watching some of his favourite TV shows.