Hungarian Gulyás (Goulash)

This recipe was given to me by a Hungarian acquaintance. She was very proud of this national dish of theirs and also sent photographs of people cooking the gulyás over an open fire in the garden. This preparation is quite different from other goulash found in cookery books and made by other nationals.


Hungarian Gulyás (Goulash)

This recipe uses carrots and potatoes, which I haven’t found in other goulash recipes. The cumin gives it an Indian flavour. When I conveyed this feedback to the originator of this recipe she was quite put out because she thought this taste was unique only to Hungarian cuisine 🙂 I serve gulyás with Pulav or even with commercially bought bread or home-baked Irish Soda Bread.

Nutritive Value

Having bacon and beef, the gulyás is a high protein medium fat dish. The carrots contribute beta carotene and the potatoes add starch. As it is served with pulavs or bread, it is also considered a high energy preparation.


  • 200 g streaky Bacon, diced
  • 500 g Beef Cubes
  • 2-3 large Onions, diced
  • 10 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 1 kg Potatoes, pared and cubed
  • 3-4 Carrots, pared and cubed
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 T Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • 3 T Vegetable Oil
  • 1 T Salt, or to taste
  • Water, as required


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a heavy base.
  2. Add the bacon and fry till crisp.
  3. Add the onion and cook till it becomes translucent.
  4. Add a quarter cup of water and the chilli powder, and stir.
  5. When nicely blended, transfer the beef and fry.
  6. Add one cup or more water and cook till the beef is tender.
  7. Add the garlic and cumin powder, and blend well.
  8. Add the potatoes, carrots, salt, and some more water and bring to boil.
  9. Cook on low heat till the vegetables are tender.
  10. Remove from heat when the mixture is almost dry.


  1. The original recipe calls for bones also to be added. I use only the muscle part of the beef as the bones are very large and also not easily available.
  2. The beef should be tender cut so that it cooks without pressure cooking. If you are unable to get tender cut beef, pressure cook the gulyás after Step 5, adding the garlic, cumin powder, potatoes, carrots, and salt. After opening the pressure cooker you may have to cook on low heat till the gulyás is almost dry.
  3. I prefer Kashmiri Chilli powder for its mild flavour and rich red appearance.

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