Greg's Khubab Hans
Roast goose, Indian style
Greg's home page
Cooking main page
Recipe index
Greg's diary
Copyright info

This is a recipe that I originally published on Tandem Computers' COSIG (Cookery Special Interest Group) on 26 October 1984. I haven't cooked it in years, so I'm leaving it more or less as it was at the time, along with some of the comments on Tandem's mail system.

MSG 16942  FROM:     FRANKFT.GREG            26 OCT 1984, 21:03
           NAME:     Greg Lehey @SOSII  EXP: 26 NOV 1984
           TO:       D cosig.users [FRANKFT.GREG]
           SUBJECT:  My goose is cooked
Christmas is coming,
The geese are getting fat

... and all that. But how many of you have ever eaten goose for Christmas dinner? Just about everybody eats turkey, but turkeys don't really have much going for them (no, not even the birds). They tend to be dry and flavourless in comparison to geese. They are also a lot easier to cook and have more easier to cook and have more meat on them. The old quantity/quality tradeoff.

The problem with geese is that they have a lot of (very flavoursome) fat. When cooking them, you must somehow find a way of getting rid of the excess fat, preferably in a manner which enables re-use of the fat, which can be used for frying all sorts of things. The following recipe manages this by boiling the bird until it is half done, then roasting it. I have cooked it twice on Christmas Eve (which in Germany is the main meal of Christmas - you don't have to find an excuse to go to sleep afterwards), and, although by Western standards it is extremely unorthodox, it has gone down very well both times. The recipe comes from the Penguin "Indian Cookery" (yes, sorry about that, but at the risk of increasing the one-sidedness of the recipes published here, it is a very appropriate recipe) by Dharamjit Singh, and bears the title "Khubab Hans". Hans is obviously the name of the gander, and the ETYMOS people might like to compare it to the Sanskrit "Ghans" and German "Gans", both of which also mean "goose".

Enough of that, here's the recipe:


quantity       ingredient       step
1       medium-sized goose
1 lb.       minced meat      
6       tablespoons ground aniseed      
2 oz.       ground coriander seed      
½ lb       bessan      
Few grains       ground sandalwood (optional)      
1½ inches       grated green ginger      
2 tablespoons       black pepper      
8       onions      
3 oz.       clarified butter      
6 oz.       seedless raisins, soaked 2 hours in water just to cover, then chopped      
4 oz.       blanched, roasted almonds      
2 oz.       roasted coriander seed      
16       minced cloves garlic      
2 teaspoons       spiced salt      
1 cup       cooked rice      
1 tablespoon       ground cinnamon      
½ pint       yoghourt      
¼ teaspoon       cayenne      


Roast, grind and soak flavourings as in above list. Clean the goose, and wash in 3 changes of water. Then dip in very hot water for about 45 seconds. Remove and prick all over with a very sharp knife point. Rub aniseed and ground coriander into the goose. Moisten with a little water and leave the aromatics pasted on for 2 hours. Wash well. Rub with bessan, leave for 15 minutes and wash again. Mix the sandalwood in a little water and rub all but a few drops over the goose. Leave for another 2 hours, then wash. This is to sweeten the goose, and rid it of excess fat.

In the meantime, prepare a stuffing of minced meat, grated ginger, half the black pepper, onions and salt. Fry in 1 oz. butter until brown; add chopped raisins and a few drops of the sandalwood water. Stuff the goose and truss it well.

Simmer the goose in water until half cooked, about 1½ hours. Remove and drain. Skim fat from cooking liquor, and reduce it to about¼ pint. Grind together the almonds, roasted coriander, garlic, spiced salt, rice, cinnamon and remaining black pepper, and mix with 1 oz. butter and yoghourt, then with the cooking liquor. Roast the goose at 325 F; gas 3, basting with the spiced liquor until done, about 1½ hours. Baste finally with remaining butter and serve with drippings moistened with a little water and a dash of cayenne as a sauce.

Spiced salt

quantity       ingredient       step
2 lbs       table or rock salt (crushed)
2 oz.       red pepper      
1 oz.       asafoetida      
2 oz.       cumminseed      
2 oz.       coriander seed      
2 oz.       grey or black salt      
      teaspoons mace      
1 oz.       black pepper      

Pound the ingredients until very fine and mix with the salt. Bottle.

For the metrically minded, take 1 oz as 30 g, 1 lb as 480 g, 325 F is 180 C, 1 pint is 600 ml, 1½ inches is 4 cm. For the Americans amongst you, 1 pint is 1¼ pint.

This is the recipe as stated. My variants from it so far have been minor. I did not use sandalwood, not because it was optional, but because it was not available. Bessan is a bean flour; maybe maize flour would do if you can't get hold of it. Wheat flour is not as absorbent.

There is a certain danger of overcooking. The first time round, it tasted unbelievable. The second time, 2 years later, it tasted very good but somewhat dry (and you thought that was a problem with turkeys? You can't win them all). I am considering having another go this Christmas, depending on who turns up for dinner. This time round I will probably de-bone the goose first, which makes it a LOT easier to carve (carve? slice). If anybody else has some ideas, I would be very interested. If you have questions, fire ahead.

This file is \SOSII.$Z.COSIG.HANS

MSG 16993  FROM:     \ZURICH.SUPER.PER       29 OCT 1984, 08:06
           NAME:     Per_BR0NS @ZURICH  EXP: 06 NOV 1984
           TO:       \SOSII.FRANKFT.GREG
           SUBJECT:  Reply to MSG 16942: My goose is cooked

Sounds very good. For those used to Indian cooking, there is no
doubt that it is true to the indian way, and I,ll try it once (and let
you know my result.

Incidentally, goose is the really traditional danish christmas dinner.
but I would not dare to try your recipe for a christmas there; like would you
get away with anything but turkey and what goes with it for a thanksgiving?

Keep up the good work,


MSG 16953  FROM:     \NEUFN.HT.MANAGER            26 OCT 1984, 23:10
           NAME:     WANDERSLEB_ULLI @NEUFN  EXP: 03 NOV 1984
           TO:       \SOSII.FRANKFT.GREG
           SUBJECT:  what's 'black salt' as compared to table salt ? (notext)

MSG 17072  FROM:     FRANKFT.GREG            29 OCT 1984, 15:48
           NAME:     Greg Lehey @SOSII  EXP: 29 NOV 1984
           TO:       \NEUFN.HT.MANAGER
           SUBJECT:  Reply to MSG 17021: what's 'black salt' as compared to ta

Rock salt, Steinsalz - not the purest, but some people claim it tastes
better that way.


MSG 17039  FROM:     \SUNRISE.SUPPORT.MWARD       29 OCT 1984, 08:52
           NAME:     WARD_MARY @SUNRISE      EXP: 06 NOV 1984
           TO:       \SOSII.FRANKFT.GREG
           SUBJECT:  Reply to MSG 16942: My goose is cooked

I had goose first time last Christmas - a braised version with
sausage from one of Julia Child's cookbooks.  It was delicious!  I'll
never go for turkey again.  Will try yours someday as it looks yummy.

MSG 17130  FROM:     \NEUFN.HT.MANAGER            29 OCT 1984, 22:33
           NAME:     WANDERSLEB_ULLI @NEUFN  EXP: 06 NOV 1984
           TO:       \SOSII.FRANKFT.GREG
           SUBJECT:  Thanks for enlightment on 'black salt' (notext)

Cooking home page Recipe index Greg's home page Greg's diary Greg's photos

Valid XHTML 1.0!

$Id: khubab-hans.php,v 1.4 2015/11/02 06:55:49 grog Exp $