And you know what else is great about this? How awesome it tastes.
Don’t be intimidated by this just because it is an Indian dish. Honestly, it isn’t any more complicated or have any more ingredients than if you were making taco meat from scratch, or Italian sausage for your spaghetti. It is just ground meat with a combination of flavorings. It is just probably flavors that you don’t use very often. But these are not seasonings that you will regret investing in. These are excellent additions to your spice cabinet.
Also, I don’t think I’ve ever made rice that was so fast. This rice is a great side dish that you may start using all the time. The cumin gives it a great scent and frozen peas are such a simple thing to keep in the freezer, you should have them around anyways. They can brighten up a dish in a heartbeat.
Give these two dishes a go. Grab some naan from your grocery store and dig in. If your store doesn’t have naan, pita works great too. It is nice to have some thin bread item available to scoop up your tasty concoctions.
This recipe also comes from Entice with Spice: Easy Indian Recipes for Busy People by Shubhra Ramineni.
Indian Spiced Lamb
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 dried finger-length red chili pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 fresh finger-length green chili peppers, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 TB garlic, minced
- 1 TB finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 tsp Garam Masala
- 6 large fresh mint leaves, chopped
Brown the lamb in a large skillet and drain. Set aside the lamb. In the skillet, heat the oil, tear the red chili peppers in half and toss in the pan with the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Saute until the cumin seeds turn brown and you can hear the mustard seeds pop. This will take about 10 seconds. Add the green chills, garlic, ginger, onion and peas. Cook until the onions turn translucent, about five minutes.
Add the lamb, turmeric, cayenne, salt, Garam Masala and mint. Mix and allow to stay one the heat for 3-5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with rice.
Cumin Scented Rice with Peas
- 1 cup uncooked Basmati rice
- 3 TB vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
Place the rice in a bowl and rinse 5 times, or until the water is mostly clear. To rinse, place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Swish around with your fingers and then carefully pour the water off the side.
Pour the oil in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. When oil is heated, add the cumin seeds. Let brown. It will only take a few seconds. Do not let them burn. Immediately add the rice and stir thoroughly until all the rice is coated with the oil.
Add the water, salt and peas. Stir it combine. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
Stir and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer undisturbed until the water is completely absorbed and you do not see any more water on the bottom of the saucepan if you insert a spoon through the rice, about 7 minutes. You might see dimples formed on the surface of the rice, which is a sign that the water is completely absorbed.
Turn off the heat, let rest, covered, for 5 minutes on the warm stove. Fluff and serve.
Photographs by Jessica Yager.