Lamb Saag, homemade Chapatis and Raita

Monday Dinner: Lamb Saag, with homemade whole wheat chapatis and cucumber carrot raita.

This was a delish meal, and a great way to use up greens.  We used beet greens instead of spinach, and as always it turned out beautifully. The recipe we used was from Rattling the Kettle, with few changes:

Lamb Saag (serves 4):

  • 1 lamb steak, with extra fat cut off
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp. black peppercorns
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cardamom pods
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt, well beaten with a fork
  • 5 bunches of fresh beet greens washed and chopped
  • ½ tsp. garam masala

Pretty Spices: peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves.

Directions:

  1. Season lamb pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a deep pan.
  3. Place  in the pot and cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until browned all over, another 2-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Combine garlic and ginger in a small bowl, stir in one teaspoon of vegetable oil and set aside.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the now-empty pot. Add peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves and cardamom, and stir for two seconds.
  7. Immediately add in the onions and a pinch of salt.
  8. Sauté onions, stirring vigorously to bring up the browned meat from the bottom of the pot, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  9. Push onions to the side of the pot, add garlic-ginger-oil mixture and push down with the back of a wooden spoon until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  10. Stir garlic-ginger mixture into the onions.
  11. Add the cumin, cumin seeds, coriander, and cayenne, and stir for 5 seconds.

    More Attractive Spices: cumin, coriander, cumin seeds, Cayenne.

  12. Add meat and any accumulated juices and stir to combine.
  13. Add in 1 tablespoon of the beaten yogurt and stir until well combined.
  14. Repeat with remaining yogurt, one tablespoon at a time.
  15. Add beet greens, one handful at a time, stirring until beginning to wilt before adding another handful.

    More evidence that we eat too much vegetable.....

  16. Once all the greens are incorporated, add a pinch of salt, and stir until greens are completely wilted.
  17. Cover pot tightly, reduce heat to lowest possible setting and cook gently until meat is tender, about 15 minutes.
  18. Remove lid and stir in the garam masala.
  19. Increase heat to medium and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until most, but not all, of the water evaporates and sauce thickens. Season to taste with additional salt.

Homemade Chapatis (serves 4):  This sounds harder than it really is.  We use a trusty recipe from Nikki and David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Combine flour and salt.
  2. Work in oil using fingers.
  3. Add water and blend with fingers.
  4. Knead dough until a nice smooth cohesive dough forms.
  5. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  6. Divide dough into 4 pieces.
  7. Roll each piece out to make round thin chapatis. You can roll anything into them at this point, we added caraway seeds.
  8. Heat a large skillet and set chapatis on the ungreased pan and cook for about 1 minute until the bread puffs up slightly and the bottom is slightly browned.
  9. Turn and cook other size until spotted and brown on the bottom.  PRessing lightly with a spatula during cooking will make chapatis puff.
  10. Stack cooked chapatis and cover until served.

Cucumber Carrot Raita (Serves 4): This is a great use of cucumbers during the cucumber craziness that is July.

Chopped cucumber

  • 4 cucumbers, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 2/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

    Chopped cucumber, carrot and cilantro

  1. Combine all ingredients, mix well.
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Serve.

Bring all items together, serve and enjoy!

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