Chunda ni Makati (Mincemeat Pie)

A slice of ‘Chunda ni Makati’ with a generous drizzling of ketchup

Chunda ni Makati (Gujrati) can be literally translated into English as ‘Mincemeat Bread’. I think ‘Makati’ is a mis-say of ‘Mkate’ (bread in Kiswahili).

My mother learnt it at ‘sasre’ (at her in-laws), the layer of potatoes on the top is a recent addition. She says that traditionally eggs were cracked on the top of the meat to form a flower-like pattern and she also thinks it’s from old Zanzibar.

This is a relatively balanced dish with starch, protein and fiber.

Recipe: Chunda ni Makati

Also known as: Mincemeat Pie

Categories: Main Dishes; beef

Accompaniments: Salad and Bread (French Bread/Garlic Bread/Bread Rolls)

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

The dish is a two step process. The meat and potatoes will be cooked separately.

For the meat:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef (or lamb/goat if you prefer)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder (jeeru powder)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder (dhana powder)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (hardar powder)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder or finely diced green chili (optional)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 a green pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves/dhania)
  • 1/2 cup any vegetable that  is already cooked or does not need to be cooked, e.g corn of the cob, grated carrots, etc. (optional)

For the potatoes:

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • pinch or turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • pinch of red chili powder

For the garnish:

  • 1 tomato, sliced into thin rounds
  • paprika powder

Directions:

For the meat:

  • Wash the ground beef in a colander and squeeze out excess water.
  • Place in a pot on medium-high heat and add the garlic paste, ginger paste, black pepper powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, salt and red chili (or green chili).
  • Incorporate all the spices into the ground beef and break any lumps that form. This is sort of like the mixture made for stuffing Samosa pastries.
  • Cook the meat until all water has evaporated and is nicely browned. This takes about 12-15 minutes. Add lemon juice.
  • Let the meat mixture cool.
  • Once cool, add the green pepper, onion, cilantro and whatever other vegetable chosen (I’ve added yellow peppers) and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, crack the eggs and beat well.

The mincemeat and eggs

  • Add the eggs to the mince meat mixture and mix well.
  • Grease an 8 or 10 inch wide frying pan (choose your best looking frying pan since the dish is served in the frying pan!). Turn the heat up to a medium-high setting.

Greased frying pan

  • When the oil is warm, pour the mincemeat mixture into the frying pan, spread and flatten to cover the entire bottom of the frying pan.

Meat mixture just put into the pan

  •  Cover the frying pan and let it cook till the top has some white spots (indicating that the egg is cooking) and when the pan is jiggled, nothing moves!

Mincemeat mix is cooking

Whitish spots at the surface

  • Turn on the oven on the broil setting. Cover the frying pan’s handle with foil if it is not oven-proof and place the frying pan directly under the grill to cook the top of the meat (takes about 5-8 mins).

Broil the top in the oven

  • Once cooked, take the frying pan out of the oven.

Meat layer is all done

For the potatoes:

  • Boil the potatoes with a pinch of turmeric and some salt.
  • When a knife easily pierces the potatoes, the potatoes are cooked. Drain the water.
  • Mash the potatoes using a fork. Add salt, chili powder and lemon juice to taste. Continue to mash till smooth.

Assemble:

  • Pour the mashed potatoes onto the meat mixture and spread it with a spoon.

Layer the mashed potatoes on the meat mixture

  • Dust some paprika powder and arrange the tomato slices on top of the potatoes.
  • You can place the frying pan under the broiler again if you want to cook the tomatoes, I prefer not to.
  • If you like cheese, you can put some shredded cheddar/mozzarella on the top of the potatoes and broil till melted.

All done!

  • If this meal is not being serving immediately, it can be re-heated on the stove top or microwave. If heating on a stove-top, cover the frying pan loosely with aluminum foil and heat on the lowest setting. Alternatively, cut out the pieces and place in a microwavable dish and microwave for 2 minutes.

Enjoy!

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