What is Bhuna?
Bhuna is a technique in cooking that is popular in many parts of India. The technique involves the frying of various spices in very hot oil with the end-goal of having a paste-like texture and to bring out more of its flavor. But bhuna may also refer to an Indian dish wherein meat is fried along with the “bhuna” spice or curry mixture. This popular spicy dish may also have vegetables along with the meat and the thick spice paste. This dish is commonly found in the northeastern parts of India and the western parts of Bangladesh. But apart from the South Asian region, bhuna recipes can also be found in various restaurant menus across many countries in Europe and the US.
The bhuna method of preparing spices was said to originate during the time of Indian royal families. Spice pastes were particularly prepared for the aristocrats and rulers of India. But eventually the cooking technique and the dishes associated with it spread to the common people and all throughout India and its neighboring countries. Today, bhuna is known in many parts of the world as a special curry dish using meat and a thick spice paste. Various types of meats may also be used including chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. The spice paste made for bhuna recipes typically include shallots, ginger, and garlic. These ingredients are mixed together in hot oil until the consistency becomes “pasty”. The resulting paste will then become an additional “spice” or seasoning for meat curry dishes.
In other parts of the world, bhuna is usually served with other side dishes. Some restaurants offer breads and rice to be eaten with this spicy dish. Some even allow customers to choose the level of spiciness of this dish adding to its increasing popularity among non-Indian food and spice lovers.