Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lamb meatballs in spicy tomato sauce

This dish is perfect over rice and served with cucumber summer salad. The earthiness of the lamb is complemented with perfect flavors from the tangy tomatoes and the spices. Also delicious with bread (for dipping into the delicious sauce). This recipe serves 12 meatballs; consider doubling the recipe if you want leftovers

Meatball ingredients:
Mix all the following with fingers and keep aside:
Ground lamb (New Zealand lamb 1 lb from Whole Foods 85% lean)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (stems and leaves)
1 seranno green pepper
Garlic (3 finely chopped cloves)
Ginger (1 tsp finely chopped)
3 tablespoon red onion chopped (1 small red)

Sauce Ingredients:
Canola oil (3 tblsp canola)
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon sticks
Onions (the rest -- i.e.medium chopped (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 can tomatoes diced (unspiced)
1 tablespoon freshly chopped ginger
3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli
1 tsp garam masala
1 to 1.5 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
2 cups water

Cucumber Salad: 1 chopped tomato, 1 chopped cucumber, 1 tsp chopped cilantro, drop of olive oil, fresh ground pepper and salt

In a wide non-stick, add canola oil, bayleaves, cinnamon sticks and sautee until fragrant.  Add onjons and sautee until golden brown. Add ginger, garlic and spices and very soon after add the tomatoes.  Stir and add 1/2 cup water. Simmer for 7 minutes. At this time start shaping the meatballs by spooning out 1 tablespoon chunks onto a plate and rolling with hands/fingers to form balls. 
Add another cup of water, stir, simmer for 5 minutes. The oil should start coming out of the water.  Lay the meatballs gently into the pan. Don't stir since the meatballs could break but instead cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Shake the pan, add cilantro for garnish and serve with hot rice or bread (naan, flour tortillas, sourdough). Enjoy with the chilled cucumber salad.  

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Curry with Fenugreek

This is a delicious tangy authentic and flavorful curry for a sunday evening dinner. It is very satisfying with some hot basmati rice. I think it is even better after it stays in the refrigerator overnight for heating the next day -- this allows all the spices to mix. 

Shrimp: 15 - 20 count
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 can of diced (un-spiced) tomatoes
3/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp red chilli
1/2 tsp garam masala
handful of cilantro leaves chopped 
lemon squeeze (optional)
Grind the following in a small food processor
9 cloves of garlic
2 thumb size pieces of ginger peeled
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 table spoon coriander powder
Few tablespoons of water

Heat 3 tablespoons canola oil in a nonstick pan. Fry the fenugreek for 10 seconds. Add the masala which should be pasty. Cook 8 minutes or until the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add a drop of the tomatoes to make pasty. Then add the turmeric, red chilli, garam masala and tomatoes. Stir and add the cilantro. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes -- allow spices to cook here. 
Add the shrimp and leave for 3 minutes. Add 1 and 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil. Cover and cook on low heat for 7 minutes.  Serve with steamed rice. 

Fenugreek and it's great properties:
You can buy it at any Indian grocery store and probably at an international farmers market

Fenugreek seeds are used as a medicinal in Traditional Chinese Medicine under the name Hu Lu Ba.  Fenugreek is frequently used in the production of flavoring for artificial maple syrupsFenugreek seed is widely used as a galactagogue (milk producing agent) by nursing mothers to increase inadequate breast milk supply. Studies have shown that fenugreek is a potent stimulator of breast milk production and its use was associated with increases in milk production of as much as 900%.[11] It can be found in capsule form in many health food stores.[12] Several human intervention trials demonstrated that the antidiabetic effects of fenugreek seeds ameliorate most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and relevant animal models by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance.[13] Fenugreek contains high dietary fiber, so a few seeds taken with warm water before going to sleep helps avoiding constipation.[citation needed]