Monday, November 30, 2009
Cookbook challenge, week 2: Tandoori lamb cutlets with cucumber salad
From that course I learned a great range of recipes and techniques for Indian cooking. There are several dishes that I still cook regularly, and will no doubt post sometime! I really like authentic Indian dishes, both when cooking at home and eating out. The more ingredients, the better! Using a wonderfully large range of individual spices provides a far superior outcome to any packet or jar mix, and it's much easier and faster than I think a lot of people might expect. There are some good mixes and jars around for those times when you don't have the motivation, though; I'm partial to the Patak's range.
For this challenge, I chose a recipe from the AWW's Great Barbecue Foods. Unpacking at the new house is still in progress, and at this stage I still hadn't uncovered all my recipe books! The alternatives were some 80s Microwave cookery books, and another really retro one - they were printed long before proper Indian food became popular in Australia, and hence don't contain anything vaguely authentic. I think the closest thing I found was a curry using the old favourite Keen's curry powder :) I hope to use some of the older cookbooks in future challenges... this could be interesting!
The recipe I chose was 'Tandoori lamb cutlets with cucumber salad'. It's a very basic recipe, but was still pretty tasty and got two thumbs up from my partner, J. I halved the original recipe, to serve 2. I also left out the onion specified in the original recipe as we didn't have any.
6 lamb cutlets
1 garlic clove
1 tbs fresh ginger
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tbs sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
Blend the marinade ingredients, then combine with the lamb cutlets and stir well to coat.
Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Cook on a heated, oiled barbecue until browned both sides (I used the grill in our oven as it was raining!)
Serve with cucumber salad and coriander yogurt.
1 fresh red chilli, finely diced
30mL peanut oil
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 tbs fresh mint, finely shredded
Peel cucumber with a vegetable peeler.
Place in a clean teatowel and squeeze out excess moisture
Toss gently with remaining ingredients
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Blend until combined.
The meat was fantastic. The marinade had a very tasty flavour. If anything, I'd add more chilli to give the cutlets some more zing. I'll probably make this again, but with a more economical cut of lamb (the cutlets were $2.50 each).
The cucumber salad was great. Very fresh and vibrant tasting, it'll be a good one for summer. I'd like to try it with sesame oil instead of peanut - I think sesame has a much nicer flavour (and it will probably require less oil too).
I served the dish with some roasted potatoes and pumpkin tossed in olive oil, garam masala and paprika.
The theme for week 3 is hor d'oeuvres. I'm going to a picnic on Saturday, so my friends might be the guinea pigs for the next recipe!