I have had a fancy for some blackish food lately, kala vuna recipe is one I found most recently. My kala vuna recipe here was from my “son,” business partner and BFF from Bangladesh. And you are right, I successfully cooked kala vuna and that is why I am sharing it with you. Jump to Recipe
Before anything else, the other black-color food I cooked before kala vuna was “mahmoos” from Saudi Arabia. I have to admit, recipe search for mahmoos is not going to be easy; I tried looking it up using the Engish keyboard and I was not successful. However, it is from there that my Bangladeshi BFF proudly shared the kala vuna recipe with me. And there is no better way to return the favor by sharing it forward, right?
What is kala vuna?
Kala vuna (or kalo bhuna) is meat cooked with spices, (loads of spices, I should say) until they are completely mixed with the meat, fork-tender, soft to the tongue, wonderful to the tastebuds and dreamy delicious. I said meat, because although kala vuna is usually associated with pieces of meat (I mean beef), chicken meat can also be used. Beef recipe that can be a chicken recipe as well. Quite similarly, mahmoos is also mostly associated with beef but can also be cooked with chicken. The major difference is that mahmoos is cooked with loads of onion, while kala vuna calls for a lot of spices! Starting with cinnamon, most of the spices I used were powder – coriander, turmeric powder, etc. plus the garlic and ginger paste. Jump to Recipe
Where is kala vuna from?
Chittagong is what I found to be the traditional owner of the dish. Chittagong is a major coastal city and financial district in Bangladesh and is the second most significant center in Bangladesh after Dhakah. An interesting place, I do hope to visit the place one of these days. I have a strong feeling that I am going to like its people, similar to how I felt before (and after) I visited India.
Ingredients for cooking kala vuna
I would say it is mostly beef. That was supposedly a bit frustrating for my husband who demands vegetables with meat recipes; however, as the dish has proven to be a wonder that it is, the lack of vegetables was completely forgotten. The other main ingredients were onions, plain yogurt, mustard seeds (which was what I used to replace radhuni). The rest of the ingredients are mostly spices, which are green and black cardamom, chili powder, black peppers, cumin powder, and more. One important ingredient is the use of close to a cup of mustard oil (which I had to order online because it was not available where I am). Jump to Recipe
How to cook kala vuna
This special recipe took many hours to complete, however, I would not categorize it as difficult nor complicated because you can do other things while cooking. The major steps are stirring every half an hour. Kala vuna is cooked slowly over medium heat until the meat turn blackish, so this can also be a slow cooker recipe. The intention actually is to cook the meat until it achieves the blackish color; the slow cooker can easily achieve that. Oh, what I find really interesting while cooking this dish is how the meat can soften with as little as one cup of water.
How to serve kala vuna
Traditional kala vuna is served over steamed rice – the best! However, it can also be eaten with your favorite steamed vegetables – with or without rice! The taste of beef meat here is what makes it unique.
How to store kala vuna
As with many traditional Bangladeshi recipes and popular food that it is, kala vuna can keep for a couple of days to a week, by keeping them in tight lid containers in the fridge.
Beef Kala Vuna
- 1.5 kg beef cut into chunks (about 3-4 inches)
for the marinade:
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 2 chili powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp garam masala powder
- 1 cup fried onions
- 1/2 cup sliced onions
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 4 pieces bay leaves
- 4 pieces cinnamon stick
- 6 pieces green cardamom
- 3 pieces star anis
- 3 pieces black cardamom
- 6-8 pieces cloves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup mustard oil
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg pwder
- 1/4 tsp mace powder or nutmeg powder again, if mace powder is not available
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp radhuni powder I replaced this with mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup mustard oil
- 1/2 cup sliced onions
- 5-6 cloves garlic sliced
- 6-8 pieces dried chili
- 1/4 tsp radhuni powder optional
- Mix marinade and rub them onto beef pieces.
- Leave to rest for at least 1 hour.
- Cook over high heat for 10 minutes, then for 30 minutes over medium heat, stir, and cook for another 30 minutes in the same medium heat.
- Add 1 cup hot water, stir and cook again for further 30 minutes.
- Add additional spices to the pot. Leave to cook again for another 30 minutes - the cooking time now totals 2 hours (not including the first 10 minutes over high heat).
In a separate pan, saute onions, garlic, and dried chili. Stir consistently until the onions and garlic are golden. Pour them over the beef pot and leave on medium heat for 5 minutes
Kala Vuna Recipe from Bangladesh
This informative instructional video in Bangladeshi language is easy to follow.