Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lamb Masala

Mike and I did our grocery at the supermarket at Market Market for the first time this week, and we were thrilled to find an amazingly large Asian spices section, and a very good meat section as well.

One of our many finds was a meat masala mix from Pakistan.

We bought some lamb from the butcher section and today we tried a lamb masala.

The recipe was on the back of the box was easy enough to follow. We made only a few changes. The first was using minced garlic and minced ginger instead of garlic/ginger paste (I don't have a blender yet, that's why). Secondly, the original recipe called for 1 cup oil or ghee (ghee is clarified butter, made by evaporating the water from butter). You'll see the change I made in the recipe. Third, we used less masala powder, just to be sure that it wouldn't be too spicy for our tastebuds.


500 g lamb (or other kinds of meat), cubed and excess fat trimmed
3 medium onions, finely sliced
1 meduim tomato, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 to 2 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/4 tbsp masala powder

1. In a frying pan, heat butter on high-medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until butter turns golden and foam has risen to the top.
2. Add vegetable oil. Then add lamb, garlic, ginger and masala mix. Stir-fry for a few minutes.
3. Add onions and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Then add tomatoes and 2 glasses of water.
4. Cover and cook on low heat until the lamb is tender (at least 45 minutes).
5. Uncover, increase heat and stir until oil/ghee has separated from the masala. Keep frying for a few minutes. Add 1/2 cup water for desired thickness of the gravy.

Serves 4 (based on recommended portion size).
Calorie count: 795 per serving (assuming you pour all the sauce over your rice).

The verdict: The resulting lamb masala was super- yummy!!! We will definitely buy this mix again.

Some adjustments we will make in the future:
  • The recipe didn't need quite so much water. The final 1/2 cup at the end wasn't really necessary. (The original recipe had actually asked for 1 to 1-1/2 cups water.)

  • The sauce was fine as it was, but for health reasons, we could've reduced the butter and it would have still turned out all right. Next time I will try it with just 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup vegetable oil.

  • We served some yogurt on the side to see if the dish would taste better with or without yogurt. Next time we will try it with maybe 1/2 cup of yogurt.

Ah, delicious. I love South Asian food!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Believe it or not, I'm still ill! (It's been six weeks now, and I've been to the doctor thrice.) My taste buds are still affected so I still can't do any kitchen experiments and the only cooking I've done has been following recipes.

But in the meatime, the lettuce-growing project is underway. Last Saturday, I bought a small planter and had it filled with soil, but I hadn't read up on lettuce-growing yet. After doing some research I learned that the best way to grow lettuce is to plant seeds first (excuse my ignorance, the last time I did any gardening other than weeding was in 4th grade for, well, gardening class) and then transplant them. I also learned that the planter I chose might be a little too small and might only be able to hold two heads of lettuce at a time. So I used the planter I bought for the seeds and then this weekend I'll get a larger planter for the lettuce heads.

So far, so good. I kept the planter in our indoor garden to prevent the birds or cats from disturbing them. Today is Day 5 and some shoots are peeking out of the soil already. I looked at them with delight this morning and Mike himself had a moment of wonder when he said, "Cool! It's like you're participating in God's creative act."

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