Slumdogs and samosas

Quick fix, mid-week lamb pulao

We had Christmas, next a germ-infested mini Basu and then my grandfather passed away.

In the meantime, UK’s Channel 4 gave us Indian Winter. A classic example of how the Western media stereotypes India with one clean sweep. We are all slumdogs. Naturally.

The posters were enough to send shudders down my spine. A celebrity chef, most famous for the excessive use of the F-word squatting on a railway platform amidst turbans, saris and drums. Shame they forgot magic carpets, snake charmers and a couple of Maharajahs.

Then I saw the line up. There’s a Hindi movie or two. A building design TV presenter to tell us why slums are wonderful. And the chef will learn about the, hold your breath, staggering diversity of Indian food. Shock, horror, he also learns how to make a samosa from scratch.

Just for the record, I don’t know anyone who makes a samosa from scratch in India. But why invite an Indian to help the creative process? I could go on, but I couldn’t put it better than this or indeed this.

Perhaps someone should inform Channel 4 that there’s more to India than slums and samosas. Like this quick fix, mid-week lamb pulao. Soft and spicy, it’s anything but a bitter pill to swallow.

Feeds 2:

  • 250gm basmati rice
  • 250gm diced boneless lamb (neck fillets or shoulder work well)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 tbsp thick yoghurt (Greek or any other whole milk)
  • Whole spices: 4 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 4 whole black peppers, 1 inch cinnamon
  • Half tsp turmeric powder
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • Half tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp flavourless oil

Finely chop or puree the ginger and garlic. In a bowl, mix together the diced lamb, yoghurt, turmeric, chilli and ginger garlic.

While it sits, slice the onion. Heat a large pan to high with a tablespoon of oil. When it’s hot, add the whole spices and as soon as they start sizzling fry three quarters of the onion for five minutes.

Now, mix in the meat and marinade, the coriander and cumin. Fry on the high heat for five minutes to brown the meat. If the masala mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, just add a little hot water and scrape to release.

Next add half a cup of water, cover and leave the meat to cook on the high heat. You’ll need to stir every 5-10 minutes to make sure the meat doesn’t burn but this way it’ll be tender soft in half an hour. Woo hoo.

While the meat is bubbling away, cook the rice as you normally would. Or use my highly scientific method.


    This entry was posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2010 at 9:55 am and is filed under Entertaining, Home Alone, Lamb (or goat), Meat, On the side. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.