One of my favorite East Indian foods at any time of the year is tongue. Tongue roast, salted tongue, tongue moile, pickled tongue, tongue this and tongue that. Now many people in other cultures consider tongue offal and discard it. But in my culture, beef tongue is relished and served at family gatherings or parties. Tongue roast or salted tongue slices also disappears quite quickly because it tastes yum!
Note: I have to specify here that we can no longer eat cow tongue anymore as it’s been banned in the state of Maharashtra, India. Cue the ox! Ox tongue has become the standard go-to for salted tongue or other East Indian beef tongue dishes in Mumbai. But if you’re making this recipe in another country using cow’s tongue, it’s the same method.
This dish itself lends itself to a variety of ingredients and a variety of ways of making it once the tongue has been marinated. But those are recipes for another day. For today, let’s look at how to make the traditional East Indian tongue roast using ox tongue or beef tongue for dinner.
Ingredients for the Beef Tongue Roast
1 large beef tongue – approximately 1.25 to 1.5 kg depending on the size
juice of 2 sourlimes
1.5 tablespoon salt
10 flakes garlic
4 kashmiri chillies
2 sticks cinnamon
50 grams raisins
50 grams cashewnuts
2 large onions
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
Note: If you’re using small tongues weighing circa 600 to 800 grams each, use 2.
Buy the tongue pre-skinned since skinning it without losing the flesh takes a bit of a learning curve. Or if you want to, try taking a sharp knife, hold the tongue vertically, create a slit in the skin and take off strips at a time. I’ve found it easier to just let the butcher do it. He’s a lot more experienced.
How to make Beef Tongue Roast?
Start by chopping the onions and garlic fine, and breaking the cashewnuts into small bits. Check the raisins for any stray seeds and get rid of them.
Wash your tongue, salt it and keep aside. No, not your tongue! The tongue you’re cooking!
Put the ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the chopped onions and chopped garlic, along with the kashmiri chillies, and cinnamon sticks, and fry well.
Add the raisins, cashewnuts, and tongue to the pressure cooker and cover with water. Once the cooker reaches full pressure, cook for about 45 minutes.
Once cooked, let the tongue cool down, cut into slices and add it back to the cooker. This time cook it in the gravy without the lid till the gravy reduces. And your gluten free beef tongue roast is ready to serve!
There are variants of this ox tongue recipe that use turmeric, or bottle masala, or ginger paste. Every East Indian family will do something different. How does your family do it?
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East Indian Beef Tongue Roast
- Pressure Cooker
- Chopping Board
- 1 Beef Tongue Approximately 1.25 to 1.5 kg depending on the size. (If you're using small tongues weighing circa 600 to 800 grams each, use 2 tongues.)
- 1.5 tbsp Salt
- 80 ml Lemon Juice
- 10 flakes Garlic
- 4 Kashmiri Chillies
- 2 sticks Cinnamon
- 50 gms Raisins
- 50 gms Cashewnuts
- 2 Onions large
- 2 tbsp Ghee (Indian clarified butter) or Clarified Butter
- Break the cashewnuts into small bits and leave aside.
- Check the raisins for any stray seeds and get rid of them.
- Wash the tongue, massage it with salt, and keep aside.
- Chop the onions and garlic fine.
- Put the ghee in a pressure cooker.
- Add the chopped onions and chopped garlic to the cooker, along with the kashmiri chillies, and cinnamon sticks, and fry well.
- Next, add the raisins, cashewnuts, and beef tongue to the pressure cooker and add just about enough water to cover it. Once the cooker reaches full pressure, cook the beef tongue roast for about 45 minutes.
- Once cooked, let the tongue cool down, cut into slices and add it back to the cooker. This time cook it in the leftover gravy without the lid till the gravy reduces. And your beef tongue roast is ready to serve!