Sunday, July 15, 2012

Minced Lamb with Mint (pudine wala kheema)

Delicious weeknight meal (if you have a little time anyway) based on a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, with protein and lots of flavor, perfect with some naan, chutney, pulses, and rice. I haven't perfected naan at all, relying on purchasing it at the farmer's market from an Indian vendor, I get my chutneys from an Indian market, but I do make the pulses and rice. I'll get around to chutneys and, hopefully, a reasonably decent naan some day. The spices, heat, and well-carmelized vegetables are what really have drawn me to Indian food recently but it will take years to really get good at making it. It sure is fun trying to, though.

Copped onion with the cardamom and cloves

Spice mixture added in

Cooking the ground lamb

Meat getting well cooked

chopped mint

just about done

1 medium onion
8 cloves garlic, peeled
chunk of fresh ginger, chopped
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
4 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
1 1/2 pound ground lamb
kosher salt
large bunch fresh mint leaves finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
juice of 1 lemon

Peel the onion and halve it vertically. Mince one half of the onion and set aside. Chop the other coarsely and add to a blender with the peeled garlic, chopped ginger, and water. Blend to a smooth paste and empty into a small bowl.
Combine the cumin, coriander, tumeric, and cayenne into a mortar or spice grinder to grind and combine. Add to the ginger-garlic paste and mix thoroughly.
Set a small skillet over high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the cardamom pods and whole cloves to heat for a few seconds. Add the remaining minced onion, stirring and frying until a good brown color. Lower the heat to medium and add the spice mixture, stirring and frying for a few minutes to consolidate. Don't hesitate to add a little water as needed to keep the mixture from drying or sticking to the skillet surface.
Add the ground lamb, breaking it up and mixing it into the contents of the skillet until it loses its pink color. Add a pinch of salt then cover the skillet turning the heat to very low and let it sit for about 25 minutes.
Remove the cover from the skillet, add the chopped mint, garam masala, and lemon juice. Cover again and allow to cook for a few more minutes before removing from the heat to serve.
This dish is a great candidate for a nice chutney and/or mango pickle, if you like it hot.

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