Meat used to be a very rare affair in Nepali food culture and still is in rural areas. So when meat is abundant during the big festivals, excess meat including bone-in meat is kept over firewood stove (chulho) and smoke-dried over for few days. By this way, meat can be preserved for several months. We prepare it every time during the Dashain festival and consume the smoke-dried meat occasionally for months. The smoke-dried bone-in meat is usually cooked with taro or pumpkin to make a humble and nutritious soup or thick gravy. Smoke-dried meat gives rich and smoky flavor to the dish.
300 grams taro
1 large bowl smoke-dried bone-in meat
1 medium-sized onion
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1-2 dried red chilies
3-4 garlic cloves
1 small thumb size ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 tablespoon vegetable oil
First make a spice paste by pounding cumin seed, coriander seed, dried red chilies, garlic and ginger with little water in silauto or mortar and pestle. You can use the electric grinder for ease.
Peel the skin off the taro and cut the taro into bite-size cubes. Handle the taro carefully and do not use wet hands while cutting taro, as it will make your hand itchy. Also finely slice the onion.
Set a cooking pot or pressure cooker over medium heat. Add vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add fenugreek seed and fry the finely sliced onion. When onions are soft and light brown, add taro cubes, smoke-dried meat, turmeric powder and spice paste. Fry it for 3-4 minutes with occasional stirring and then add salt. Add 3-4 cups of hot water, put the lid on and cook it for about 30 minutes in a cooking pot or for about 3-4 whistle in pressure cooker. When taro is well cooked, add more hot water if required and squeeze 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and then bring to boil. Turn off the heat and serve it with cooked rice or roti.