You know how a lot of people enjoy having breakfast for lunch or dinner? I can understand that- breakfast is a fun meal. I also grew up with brothers who had breakfast for every meal. But I’m more the kind of person who likes to have dinner for breakfast. Chicken, naan, subs, rice!!! I can have any lunch or dinner item for breakfast! Does that sound weird? Well, fortunately, in my defense, I have a whole nation of dinner-for-breakfast eaters behind me! Nihari, paey (beef trotters) and maghaz are all very well loved breakfast dishes in the Punjab where I grew up. Not as common, but one of my inlaws’ favorites, is pota kaleji, or chicken gizzard and liver. (Don’t turn away! I’m just getting started!) Great with parathas! [Learn how to make perfect parathas in my Mom’s Golden Parathas Post.] These dishes are equally popular for dinner too.
While all the ‘spare parts’ like maghaz, gurday kapooray (kidneys and testicles), phipra (lungs), kaleji (liver), zuban (tongue), ojri (tripe) etc, are considered delicacies in Pakistan, they are also a little polarizing because people either love them or are extremely put off by them.
But if you grow up eating them, before you really realize what they are, then there is a chance that you will get used to the taste before the strangeness makes you repel it. I admit that I love to eat all of the above, and never really paused to consider in detail about all of their origins. They taste yummy, and that’s all that really mattered to me.
But I do want to give a word of warning. It’s all well and good in Pakistan, where everything is cooked and ready, or you go to a restaurant and it is served up straight out of a karahi with buttery naan, but it’s a totally different ball game when you have to clean, cut and prepare everything yourself.
You don’t want to be holding it in your hand and questioning the very need of consuming it for your next meal. So, even if you think that you love to eat maghaz, do stop to consider that you will be the one washing and cooking a brain. Can you handle it?
Having said all that, Maghaz Masala really is delicious is excellent with hot naan. As with all delicacies, it is expensive, but it’s a great dish for special parties or get togethers. It is also one of those dishes that you can make in a flash. It cooks very quickly, so you can have it ready in a snap. In fact, over cooking destroys it. There are 2 basic steps to it:
1 Boil the maghaz.
2 Mix it with masala.
That is literally it. I keep saying again and again that the best, most impressive dishes are also usually the easiest to make! Yet another low on labor, high on taste dish! So, feel free to take the plunge!
Maghaz Masala Recipe
- 5 goat brains
- ¼ cup oil
- 1½ medium onions, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp corriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 4 green chilies, chopped
- 3-4 cups water
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- Chopped fresh cilantro and ginger for garnish (optional)
Fry the onions and tomatoes in the oil until golden brown. Add the ginger, garlic, corriander powder, cumin and green chilies and stir fry for a minute. Remove from the heat.
Rinse the maghaz in a colander.
In the meantime, put the water in a saucepan. Add the garlic cloves, turmeric and peppercorns and bring to a bubbling boil.
Add the goat brain and boil for a few minutes until they are cooked. They will turn an opaque white, similar to the way fish changes color when cooked.
Drain immediately, do not overcook.
Cut into small pieces and add to the prepared masala.
Stir fry for one or two minutes on medium heat.
Garnish with ginger and cilantro and serve hot with naan or roti.
The few points to be noted are:
The onions and tomatoes should be balanced. Too much onion, and the masala will be sweet. Too many tomatoes, and the masala will be sour.
There is no need to bhoonofy maghaz. It is a very delicate dish, and over cooking or stirring will cause it to dissolve. I prefer it with some visible chunky pieces.
Mmm mm mm!
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