Posted on | April 12, 2010 | 16 Comments |
Recently there was an article on Bon Appétit called 3 Reasons You Should be Cooking Lamb. The reasons listed were Nutrition, Flavor and Versatility. Those who like lamb already know about the last two points, but I’ve never paid much attention to the nutrition part before. The article says:
Lamb is an excellent source of protein (one serving provides 50 percent of your daily value), vitamin B12 (45 percent of your daily value), and zinc (30 percent of your daily value), and the leaner cuts of lamb have only around 72 to 85 milligrams of cholesterol, which is comparable to chicken.
In India, lamb (goat really) is a staple for most non-vegetarians. In fact if I had to define the “different tiers” of meat eaters in India, I’d do it like this. This is just my observation, correct me if I am wrong. Tier 1 folks eat just chicken, tier 2 eat chicken & mutton, tier 3- chicken, mutton & beef and tier 4 – chicken, mutton, beef & pork. Tier 3 might eat either beef or pork based on their religious believes; beef is taboo for Hindus while Pork is a no-no for Muslims. But if your religion allows meat, then chicken and mutton are common for everyone.
It is a different case in the United States though, at least that is what I have observed. Many Americans I have come across – I am talking about the non-foodie kind – are not into lamb. They consider it some kind of a foreign meat, only the adventurous types venture into lamb eating, others are normally happy sticking with their steaks. I was really surprised by this discovery especially because most steak houses and other American restaurants I’ve been to offer lamb chops in the menu. Anyway, that’s why I think BA had to go and write an article on why people should cook lamb.
Personally, I prefer goat to lamb in Indian cooking. I get lamb rib chops and shoulder chops for non-Indian preparations. But since I am on SBD, this time I went with lamb, as it seemed to be much leaner than goat. I picked up a boneless leg piece, thinking of roasting in the oven, but it is a time consuming process, so I decided to just make it the Indian way. Since the smell of lamb is not something I am too fond of, I sautéed the lamb pieces in oil till brown, this took care of the smell as well as added some burned texture to the dish, which works well in most meat recipes. Along with all the veggies added into the dish and some cucumber raita on the side, it made a filling Phase 1 meal for me.
- Leg of Lamb, boneless –1.5 lbs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 whole star anise
- 1” piece of cinnamon
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup fat free/low fat yogurt
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 1 large bell pepper, diced (I used red, but green or other colors will work too)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Wash the lamb and drain well, and use paper towels to remove the water.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and add the star anise and cinnamon. The add the lamb pieces, sprinkle some salt and keep sautéing for 8-10 minutes till the lamb pieces turn brown. This might have to be done in batches if there is a lot of lamb. Don’t crowd the pan, as that will release the moisture and the lamb won’t brown. Remove the lamb pieces with a slotted spoon as these gets browned and transfer to a pressure cooker.
Add a bit more oil to the pan if there isn’t any left (there should be enough). Add 1/2 of the diced onions and sauté till soft. Add the red chili, black pepper and turmeric powders and continue sautéing on medium heat till the spices are cooked through. Switch off the stove and add the yogurt to the pan, mix well with a spoon and pour this spice mixture into the pressure cooker. Add a little bit of water to the pan to get all the last bit of the masala into the pressure cooker. Use a large spoon to combine the ingredients, so that the lamb pieces are well coated with the masala.
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes after the first whistle (that’s when the pressure cooker builds up maximum pressure) on medium high heat.
When the lamb is getting cooked, wipe of the pan with a wet towel and return to the stove. Add a bit of water and the remaining onions. Sauté the onions till soft. Now add the diced peppers and continue sautéing for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and switch off the stove as soon as the spinach starts to wilt.
Once the pressure cooker is cool enough, open it. If there is a lot of liquid in the cooker, continue cooking on an open flame till all the gravy is absorbed. Once it is dry enough, add to the sautéed veggies in the pan and mix well to combine.
As I mentioned before, I had it with cucumber raita as my SBD Phase 1 dinner, but it goes great with rice or can be used to fill a wrap.
More like this
Recently someone commented on one of my Mutton dishes that "Mutton is NOT goat meat. Mutton is an [...]
This is one of those recipes that was conceived quite by accident. All I wanted was a quick mutton[...]
I've had the Thomas Keller cookbook "Ad Hoc at Home" for a few months now. I leafed through it q[...]