Phalghi Sherpa Stew

I enjoy most Sherpa dishes, however Sherpa stews are my favorite. One of the most popular Sherpa stew is called Phalghi (pronounced fulgi). Prepared with corn, potatoes, radishes, kidney beans, a choice of meats (beef, lamb, pork, and yak meat are all common), onion, garlic and spices such as cumin, turmeric and chili pepper. It is a hardy stew perfect for winter. The corn that is used traditionally in Phalgi is harvested in the fall and is boiled on the cob, kernels are then removed and are sun dried for winter use. I grew up eating Phalgi (usually served with pickled radish, green chili and sichuan pepper) during the winter. Now, I try to make it during snowy winter days and reminisce about sitting around a kerosene heater with my family eating Phalgi on chili nights in Kathmandu.  I can’t decide if I like Phalgi or Shyakpa more, both are very tasty and perfect during the winter. Let me know which you like better in the comments.

Phalgi reminds me of a Mexican dish called Pozole. Whenever I travel to Mexico, I try to eat Pozole. Made with Hominy corn, chicken and vegetables, Pozole is similar in taste to Phalgi. In fact it gave me the idea of making Phalghi using Homeny, since the traditionally prepared corn is hard to get here in the US. So, here is a recipe of my Sherpa/Mexican fusion dish (Sherpican dish).

I do want to mention that radish is a key ingredient in traditional Phalgi, but I am not using it in this recipe (I don’t like radish). However, in the SoluKhumbu region, radishes and potatoes are widely cultivated and because they keep well over winter, are used in many Sherpa dishes. In the SoluKhumbu region people store potatoes and radishes in cellars which are dug out underneath the house.

Enjoying Pozole in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara cities in Mexico. K

Phalgi garnished with sichuan pepper and green chili. I wish I had pickled radish :(
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Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 cups Hominy
1 and 1/2 cup kidney beans (soaked overnight and cooked for 10 minutes with salt)
1 large onion chopped
5 medium potatoes sliced
1 tablespoon garlic
2 cups meat (choices: pork/beef/lamb)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
Red chili to taste
Salt to taste
5 cups water

Directions:
Note: I usually buy a large 6 lb can of Hominy and aliquot it into meal sized portions. This is much cheaper than buying multiple small cans.
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1. Prepare all the ingredients. (chopped onion, chopped meat, sliced potatoes, soaked and boiled beans).
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2. In a large dish, heat 1/3 cup of oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion and garlic, and cook at medium heat until the onion is soft.
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3. Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder and salt. Mix well.
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4. Add meat, stir and cook for 5 minutes with lid closed.
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5. Add beans, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes with lid closed.
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6. Add hominy corn, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes with lid closed.
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7. Add sliced potatoes, mix well, and cook for 3 minutes with frequent stirring (after this much cooking most of the water is gone and it is easy to burn).
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8. Add 5 cups of water and boil to make a stew (use 4 cups of water for a thicker stew).
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9. Before serving, taste to make sure the beans have fully cooked, and there is enough salt. Enjoy with sichuan pepper and green chili!
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