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Lamb

Nov 292016
 
Lamb Chelo Kebab

Thinking about Persian food brings to mind the dazzling sabzi khordan, array of kebabs, magnificent naans & pilafs and also the saffron, pistachios, rose petals & rose water, preserved limes and barberries. I grew up in a house where Persian was just as common a language as Urdu, Kashmiri and English. Persian poetry couplets were interspersed into everyday talking and it was just a normal way of having a conversation. The Persian influence in Kashmir is not limited to arts, architecture and language. It also has been a huge influence on the food in the valley of Kashmir.

Lamb Chelo Kebab

This could very well become an interesting article on History and how food evolves. But that is a discussion for another day. Today I just want to dig into the  lamb chelo kebab I made for Progressive eats. The reason I chose the lamb chelo kebab is because we are doing a Middle Eastern/ Moroccan Menu for our Progressive Eats dinner this month and nothing makes me happier than a plate of Persian food.

Lamb Chelo Kebab

The best thing to eat from this plate of food is the rice. Glistening with melted butter, salted to perfection and cooked till all grains were separate. The magic is in the rice. The kebab is just incidental. Having said that, here are some tips to make sure your kebabs turn out moist and juicy and don’t fall off the skewers.

Tips for a Good Kebab made with ground meat:

  1. Use fresh meat, never frozen.
  2. Make sure to wash the meat before it is ground and never wash ground meat.
  3. When making skewers, Make sure the  thickness of the meat mixture  around the skewer is even.
  4. Never allow one side of the skewer to cook completely before turning, it will make the uncooked side fall from the skewer. So keep turning the skewers in the order you put them on the grill.
  5. For ground meat kebabs, you want to grill them in such a way that the meat doesn’t touch the surface of the grill. You can easily do this by placing two heavy metal rods on the surface of the grill for the top and the bottom of the skewers to rest on.
  6. It’s ideal to cook these on a coal grill  for maximum flavor.

Lamb Chelo Kebab

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month we’re sharing a Middle Eastern/Moroccan Menu, and our event is hosted by Susan, who blogs at The Wimpy Vegetarian.  We have a full menu of ideas to tempt you into the kitchen and release your inner-Ottolenghi. If you’re looking for something new to try, check out these wonderfully creative dishes!

Progressive Eats Middle Eastern/Moroccan Menu

Cocktail

Appetizer

Main Dishes

Bread

Side Dish

Desserts

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

Lamb Chelo Kebab

Lamb Chelo Kebab

Ingredients

    for Rice
  • 2 C White Long Grain Rice
  • Water to boil rice in
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C Salted Butter (preferably European)
  • For Kebab
  • 2 medium onions ( about 400gms)
  • 1.5 pounds ground lamb
  • a pinch of saffron
  • Salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • Urfa chillies - ( optional) to taste
  • Turmeric - a pinch

Instructions

    Rice
  1. Rinse the rice until water runs clear. Soak covered with water for about 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add the salt and add the rice.
  3. Cook until rice is almost done but not soft. Drain and rinse with tap water to sop further cooking.
  4. Add a little butter into a pot, pile up the rice into a cone shape on the butter. Make some holes with the back of your spatula and add butter into these holes. Cover and cook on diffused low heat for about 30 minutes.
  5. Kebab
  6. Make a puree out of the onions and strain out the juice.
  7. Take a tsp or two of the onion juice, add the saffron into it to dissolve.
  8. Take the pulp of onions and add to the ground lamb, add the saffron , salt, pepper, urfa chillies if using and turmeric.
  9. Mix and knead with your fingers until it all sticks together and does not fall apart when you pick it up in your hand.
  10. Take a handful of this mixture and place your metal skewer on it, then start spreading the meat on the middle section of the skewer by opening and closing your fingers to stick the mixture securely to the skewer.
  11. Leave a few inches from the top and bottom for grilling.
  12. Make sure the thickness of the meat mixture around the skewer is even.
  13. Place the kebabs on a baking tray with raised sides so that the skewers can rest on it without the meat touching the tray.
  14. Cook on a grill until done.
  15. I baked mine in a 550*F oven for about 3- 4 minutes each side.
  16. Serve with a Persian salad, some grilled tomatoes and the Chelo rice.
http://dev.spiceroots.com/lamb-chelo-kebab/

Aug 252015
 

Lamb and Fresh Plum Tagine

The first time I cooked some green apples in a savory dish with aubergines, my husband looked at the dish with some trepidation. He is usually a sport and enjoys eating new things. But a cooked apple in a savory form was not something he had imagined. A chutney may be, but a whole main dish? It was his first introduction to Kashmiri Vegetarian food. He prefers vegetarian food. But this was him trusting me and taking a leap of faith and trying out something completely new. And he was hooked. It is a dish he now requests often.

Cooking with fresh fruits was a way to use up the season’s bounty without letting it get spoiled. After sun drying the fruits and vegetables for the winter’s use, fresh fruits would be used up in main dishes to stretch them and bring in new flavors.

Lamb and Fresh Plum Tagine

I chanced upon Stevie Parle’s adaptation of the Moroccan Lamb and Plum Tagine and I knew that that was what I was going to make for this month’s Progressive Eats. There are many Indian meat dishes in which dried plums are used to impart a distinctive tart flavor. But I knew the just softened pieces of plums with lamb would be a great combination and I am glad I persevered. We are now thinking about different ways we can use stone fruits in our main dishes to bring more of summer into our plates.

Lamb and Fresh Plum Tagine

Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is all about Stone Fruits was hosted by Your’s truly.  With Summer coming to an end, it’s a great time to use the Summer’s abundant bounty in everyday food. We have some great ideas this month to use all the stone fruit – from BBQ Sauce, to curries, to Duck and of course Desserts.

progressive-eats-logoHere is what the #Progressive Eats group of talented bloggers have made for this month’s partyStone Fruits

Appetizer

Salad

Main Courses

Side Dish

Desserts

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

 

Lamb and Fresh Plum Tagine

Lamb and Fresh Plum Tagine

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 pounds bone in lamb cut into medium pcs
  • 1.5 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbs ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 C chopped cilantro
  • 6- 8 dried plums, soaked in 1/4 c water
  • 3- 4 fresh red plums cut in halves

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium size tagine pot on medium heat. Add oil. Add the lamb in batches and brown on all sides.
  2. Once the lamb is done, in the same pot, Add the onions, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander , garam masala and salt, and fry until the onions begin to get translucent. Add the turmeric, cayenne and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the meat back in, and add 2 cups of water. Cover the tagine with its lid and cook for 50- 60 minutes on a gentle simmer. Check after the designated time and if the meat is fall of the bone tender, add the , add the dried plums and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Then add the fresh plums and allow to cook for a few minutes before serving. do not stir too much after the addition of fresh plums and they might turn into a mush.
http://dev.spiceroots.com/lamb-and-fresh-plum-tagine/

 Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 12:58 AM  Tagged with: ,
Mar 202013
 

Kabargah

As I sit to write this post, I am feeling nostalgic. Kabargah is a dish that features in all our major celebrations and as we have established by now, all our celebrations begin and end with food as the main focus.  More than a couple of decades ago, when Kashmir was still the peaceful paradise, and I was still a child with a bright future and so much potential ( or so my parents thought), major celebrations in Kashmir were celebrated very traditionally.  I would look forward to these celebrations or ‘saal’ as we call them. Saal means an invitation and it also means a celebration.  The Saal is a sight to behold for the serving of the meal is a ceremony by itself.

 Kabargah

Rows of people sit together, a long fabric is spread for the thaal (plates) to be placed on. Imagine it to be a place-mat, only that it is placed on the plush Kashmiri silk/wool carpets and spreads out for a couple of dozen people at one go. A beautiful Tasht – t – Nari  is presented and the guests wash their hands. Are you re- reading this?  Yes the guests are seated when they wash their hands.  You can close that open mouth now! 😉

After the guests have washed their hands, the food is served one dish after the other. The volunteer servers, who are usually close friends and family, bring in food and serve it. One of the dishes served is the Kabargah.

Ribs of young lamb or goat, cooked in milk and spices then fried in ghee (clarified butter). The key is to have them fork tender with the boiling and crispy and juicy with the frying.  It is an art form and here is my recipe.

 

Kashmiri Kabargah – Fried Lamb Ribs

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Kashmiri Kabargah – Fried Lamb Ribs

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Lamb ribs ( I used a rack of lamb but traditionally only ribs are used)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups milk and 1 Cup water – mixed together
  • 1 tsp garam masala ( Use Zafrani Garam Masala by Shan - it's the closest thing to my blend)
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt
  • 1 star anise ( 1 tsp fennel powder - the traditional way)
  • For yogurt batter :
  • 4 Tbs yogurt
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Ghee for frying ( begin with half a cup ghee)
  • Salt.

Instructions

  1. Bring the 6 cups of water to boil and add in the ribs. Continue to boil until the brownish riffraff floats to the top.
  2. Remove this riffraff with a spoon and throw it away. Continue until you don't see it floating to the top anymore.
  3. Now drain the water and wash the meat under a spray of water.
  4. Bring the milk and water mix to a boil.
  5. Add in the meat , salt, asafoetida, the garam masala and the star anise or the fennel powder and cook on slow heat until the meat is fork tender.
  6. The timing for this will depend on the quality of meat.
  7. The better quality ribs will be done before the milk evaporates and for others you may need to cook almost until the milk evaporates and then some more.
  8. Once the meat is tender, remove from the milk, and let drain on a wire rack.
  9. Mix the yogurt with a little salt, chilli powder and garam masala. dip the boiled ribs in this mix. Keep on a wire rack for a few minutes.
  10. Heat up some ghee in a pan and fry the ribs, a few at a time. Ensuring you don't overcrowd the pan.
  11. When they are nice and golden crisp , you know they are ready.

Notes

If you are pressed for time, you may first pressure cook the ribs for a few minutes and then cook them in milk and spice.

If your butcher refuses to hand over just the ribs, go ahead and make this with chops.

http://dev.spiceroots.com/kashmiri-kabargah-fried-lamb-ribs/

 

Sep 282012
 

This is not a chili. This is not even a dalcha. It is kind of somewhere in between. But is it good? Yes! For today’s 38 Power food’s blog group the star ingredient was apricots.So I first thought of making a Dalcha. Dalcha is a lamb and lentil stew to which a souring agent like tamarind or lemon is added. But the lentil of choice in the dalcha is Channa dal.  Since Channa Dal takes a long time to cook and simmering dalcha for a long time was not on the cards,  I decided to make a chili. But chili takes a long while too and wouldn’t use apricots effectively.

So I looked deep into the refrigerator and found a bowl of cooked moong beans.  Smiling a wide smile, I knew it would go well with lamb and also apricots. And this dalchili was born. Ok Let’s just say it is a Lamb Apricot Stew – Indian Inspired.

I was born in Kashmir and apricots are a part of  who we are. We eat a lot of apricots.  When they are still green and unripe, girls love to eat them as a chutney or just as a tart tangy snack.  When they ripen they are eaten in chutneys, jams , ice creams and simply popped into the mouth for that exquisite sensuous flavor.  And when winter comes along, we have containers full of dried apricots. To munch on as dried fruit or to use in Biryanis, with lamb dishes or make a chutney. And when the girls grow up and move to a different country they think of ways to incorporate a little of childhood into their food, every now and then. Especially when she is cooking as part of the power food blog group.

38 Power Foods blog group  focuses on one ingredient each week taking inspiration from the book ; Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of the whole living magazine. Each week we all  come up with recipes, stories, articles to encourage eating nourishing food.

Jeanette at jeanetteshealthyliving ; Martha at Simply Nourished Living ; Mireya at Myhealthyeatinghabits ; Alyce at More time at the table ; Casey at My Sweet and Savory;

Alanna at Kitchen Parade Veggieventure;  Minnie at TheLady8Home

These amazing women have been powering through the power foods week after week and I always look forward to their posts. I learn a lot from them and have learned a lot about my food on this journey.

Lamb Apricot Chilli

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C thinly sliced lean lamb steak
  • 1 C cooked moong beans
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala blend
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots soaked in hot water for about half an hour
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 C water

Instructions

  1. Heat a cast iron pan and add the oil
  2. Add the lamb and cook it for a few minutes
  3. Add in the salt.
  4. As soon as you add the salt, the lamb with release some water.
  5. Cook on medium heat until the water evaporates
  6. Now add the ginger garlic paste, and cook until fragrant
  7. Add all the spices and mix.
  8. Add the water and cook it for a few minutes.
  9. Add the moong and the apricots and cook for 5- 7 minutes, until apricots are tender and the dish has a chili like consistency.
  10. Eat with a whole wheat roti/bread or add some sliced raw onions on top and dig in.

Notes

The Dried apricots used in this recipe are tart ones. It lends a tart & sweet flavor. The apricots I used are dried with their stone in and have a brownish color. You can source them in Indian / Mediterranean stores. Alternately, if you use the dried apricots usually available in the stores, you may need to add some lemon juice to bring out the slightly tart flavor that the sun dried apricots have.

http://dev.spiceroots.com/lamb-apricot-stew-indian-inspired/

 Posted by on September 28, 2012 at 2:17 PM  Tagged with:
Jul 272012
 

 

It’s Friday and we are on another episode of our 38 Power Foods Blog group.

38 Power Foods blog group  focuses on one ingredient each week taking inspiration from the book ; Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of the whole living magazine. Each week we all  come up with recipes, stories, articles to encourage eating nourishing food.

Who is we all ? The following wonderful people who make nourishing food and talk about it on their blogs. Do check what they have come up with this week. Also, If you are a blogger and  love the idea of being part of the 38 power foods, we would love to have you join us.   Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.

Jill and Margo at Saucy Cooks;

Jeanette at jeanetteshealthyliving ;

Martha at Simply Nourished Living ;

Mireya at Myhealthyeatinghabits ;

Alyce at More time at the table ;

Sarah at everything in the kitchen sink;

Casey at BookCase foodie

Bambi at adobodownunder

 

 

What can I say about this vegetable.  We had a hate love relationship.  I loved how cute they looked, but when I got some for cooking , thinking they were just small cabbages, I was in shock.  Lets just say they shocked me with their smell.

But I was not to give up on them so easy, because they look adorable and I am such a softie when a veggie looks so adorable. I discovered that I enjoyed them best when they were oven roasted, with a touch of balsamic and some himalayan salt.  Delicious! Here is a very healthy salad I love making – Brussels Sprouts and Sprouted Moong Salad

 

 

 

Brussels Sprouts and sprouted Moong Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C sprouted moong
  • 1/4 C stewing lamb pieces - precooked ( I like them lightly boiled but you can roast or stir fry as well)
  • 1/2 C Brussels sprouts halved
  • a dash of balsamic vinegar ( I used a Tsp.. you can use more or less)
  • a pinch of Himalayan rock salt. ( use any salt. I had some so used it)
  • 1/2 tsp oil + 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp fresh mint chopped
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper crushed
  • 1/2 tsp of chopped thai green chilies
  • 1/2 C of spring onions chopped

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 *F
  2. Place the brussels sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1/2 tsp oil and vinegar over the sprouts and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle some salt and mix it in as well.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes turning once. They would be done when they are nicely browned.
  4. In a pan, add the other 1/2 tsp oil and saute the green onions, add the precooked lamb,the pepper and cook until the onions get a shine on them and wilt just slightly.
  5. Now add in the brussels sprouts from the oven, and mix and add the pepper.
  6. Just before serving add the moong beans, fresh mint and adjust seasonings.
http://dev.spiceroots.com/brussels-sprouts-and-sprouted-moong-salad/

 

 

May 202010
 
Kashmiri Roganjosh

 

 Kashmiri Roganjosh

The culinary world is divided into two categories – those who know an authentic kashmiri dish and those who do not. Over kill? May be! But hey! I am a Kashmiri. I am supposed to have a nose pointed high and I am supposed to be snobbish! It is something we master subconsciously. 😉

So when you go to a very fine looking, pricey Indian restaurant and order a Kashmiri roganjosh or a kashmiri naan or Heaven save you – a kashmiri dum aalo , chances are that you would be served a dish that has raisins, cashews, almonds etc.  Stay mislead no more! Those are NOT kashmiri dishes.

Authentic kashmiri entrees are spicy, most of them have aniseed (saunf) as their base.  The dishes that do not have saunf as their base, have very few additional ingredients. So except for shufta or Modur pulav or Qahwa – Or my granny’s special stuffed dum aloo , the dishes do not have any of the dry fruits.

Here is how to make this quintessential kashmiri dish :

Serves 6

Plan:

  • 2 pounds  (boneless) 3 pounds bone in  Mutton/ Lamb
  • 1/2 C Whisked Plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • 4 -5  cloves
  • 2  Brown Cardamoms
  • 1 Green Cardamom
  • 1  Cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 C  Mustard oil
  • 2 Tbs Kashmiri Chilli powder [ Use about 1 tsp for a very mild heat level, 1 Tbs for medium]
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 5 tsp Fennel powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups water

Special Equipment: A heavy bottomed pan at least 6 Quart (about 5 Litre) capacity

Procedure:

  1. Because we are using mustard oil, we  need to heat up the oil and bring it to a point where it smokes.  If you choose not to use mustard oil,  just remember you are in the other category .. the one that does not know authentic 😛
  2. When the oil smokes, turn off the heat and let the oil cool for some time (about 2- 3 minutes). The heating step is important to eliminate the pungent taste of the oil. And we need to cool it as we don’t want oil splattering all over the cook top; or burn the spices when we add them to an oil that’s way too hot!  Now do we?
  3. Start reheating the oil on medium heat and add the cloves, cardamom green and brown, cinnamon and let them brown a bit. Slow and easy!
  4. I am assuming you wash the meat and dry it up with a paper towel. So If I am assuming right, go ahead and put the meat into the oil. If not, then stop what you are doing and pat the meat dry and then add to the oil. This is to avoid any hot oil accidents in your kitchen.
  5. Turn up the heat to high, and let the meat brown a bit on one side first. Then stir and let it brown on the other. Ensure you have evenly browned meat in the pan before the next step.
  6. Lower heat to medium, Add the whisked yogurt and stir until the yogurt almost evaporates.
  7. Add the chilli powder and immediately add some( about 1/4th cup) water. We need the chillies to coat the meat without them getting burnt.
  8. Stir until meat is well coated with the chillies and the oil starts to separate.
  9. Now add all the other spices, but no salt yet.
  10. Add the remaining water and after it comes to a boil, add the salt, simmer until the lamb is fork tender and the oil separates(about 25 – 30 min)
  11. Stir once a while simmering, to ensure that the spices do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  12. Once cooked to your desired tenderness, switch off heat, cover and let it rest for a few hours before serving.

You may serve this with Naan/ Roti/ Rice and Haakh . No Dal with this please. That sort of makes the Kashmiri in me squirm!