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Green is not a color this meal lacks. A combination of mint, cilantro, and green peppers (I used cilantro) produces a deep-green color, vibrant and alive. The dish is a combination of the fresh spring taste of cilantro, the cool sharpness of mint, and the savory vigor of lamb, along with a hearty edge of fiery spice. Together, it makes for a highly adaptable meal that can be easily changed, be it in regards to its spiciness or to the addition of other vegetables and meats (potatoes and carrots are vegetables which could be easily added to make it more conventionally European-American instead of Indian). But there is little need of this unless desired, as it is very good in its base form.
The most careful factor to be watched in making this recipe is its spice level. In my case, I had used three jalapeño peppers and removed two thirds of the seeds. I found rapidly that this was excessively spicy, and I was forced to add in large amounts of milk and sugar to moderate it. Although this is maintained in the recipe, I have made various modifications in order to balance the ingredients together well. I found the meal still quite perfectly spicy in the way that I had made it, but if extremely spicy food is preferred, a reduction in the amount of milk or increase in the amount of jalapeno seeds can be used to good effect.
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This recipe is adapted from A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey, a superb Indian cookbook and guide to India.
- 1 1/2 lb lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 hot green peppers, such as jalapenos, if so, all seeded save for 1/2 pepper
- 3 medium sized onions, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated after being peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup mint, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup cilantro, tightly packed
- 1 cup milk
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine or lemon juice
- Combing together the lamb, salt, onion, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, vegetable oil, and garlic in a large casserole dish, and add in 1 3/4 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Simultaneously, combine the chopped and mostly seeded green peppers (change depending on the degree of spice needed, leaving in or taking out varying degrees of seeds), mint, cilantro, and lemon juice/white wine, as well as 2 tablespoons of water in a blender. Blend until very smooth.
- If desired, add in the cherry tomatoes into the lamb broth. Boil for a few minutes until it is heavily reduced, then add in the pepper-mint-cilantro mixture, and 1 cup of milk. Boil for a few minutes more to reduce further, adjust spice level as desired with milk and sugar or more cayenne pepper, then serve, over rice.
© 2017 Ryan Thomas