DING-DING – ANGLO-INDIAN SUN DRIED MEAT - Summer is the right time to make Pickle and Ding Ding
The hot, hot summer that we are having these days in Bangalore brings back memories of my mum and Aunt Celine making use of the heat of the summer sun to make Ding-Ding - our very own Anglo-Indian Sun dried meat crispies. Meat, either beef or mutton was cut into very thin slices, washed and then marinated in a mixture of chillie powder, turmeric powder, salt, pepper powder and vinegar for a few hours. The marinated meat was then strung on a string and hung on the verandah or back porch to dry in the summer heat. Sometimes the meat was placed on flat plates and left to dry. It would take a couple of days to dry completely to a crisp. The dried meat was then carefully stored away in airtight tins to be used at a later date.
The dried meat would be soaked in cold water first and beaten flat with a rolling pin and then shallow fried in hot oil till brown and crisp. It made a wonderful side dish with Rice and Pepper Water or Rice and Dol (Dhal) Curry.
Anglo-Indian men in the olden days were fond of hunting especially those living in the Tea Gardens, Mining Colonies, Railway Colonies etc . A group of them would venture into the woods and farms in search of game. They would invariably return with wild Boar, pheasants, wild ducks etc. The spoils would be shared with neighbors and friends and the remaining meat was always preserved in this way by drying it after marinating it with vinegar. How this dried meat dish actually got its name Ding-Ding is unknown. Presumably, the meat dangling from the string gave it its name since most Anglo-Indian Dishes have rhyming alliterative names. This recipe and lots of other old Anglo-Indian Recipes are featured in my Recipe Book ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE – A LEGACY OF FLAVOURS FROM THE PAST.
Note: For those who do not want to dry the meat in the sun, the meat could be dried in an oven instead.
Recipe for DING DING
1 kg beef from the shank end of the leg (cut into very thin slices)
3 or 4 teaspoons pepper powder
2 teaspoons chillie powder
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ cup vinegar
Wash the meat and marinate with the pepper powder, salt, chillie powder, vinegar and turmeric powder for 2 or 3 hours. String the pieces of meat on a string and hang to dry. (Alternately the marinated meat could be placed on a flat plate and kept in the sunlight to dry). The pieces should be dried thoroughly.
Store in an airtight container and use whenever required at a later date.
To use at a later date, soak the dried meat pieces in cold water for a couple of hours. Beat each piece with a rolling pin and then shallow fry with a little oil. This goes well with rice and pepper water.