Monday, 8 November 2010

In the Mood

So, what do you think of the new look?  Freshened things up a little, hasn't it?  I've been in that sort of mood today and , after redesigning the page this afternoon, I was entirely ready for some serious kitchen action.  I say serious, but, despite the loooong list of ingredients below, please know that I put this meal together tonight in little over half an hour.  All the ingredients, bar the meat, are standard storecupboard and 'fridge stock in my home, and I usually have some minced lamb in the freezer.

Frankly, I think that this dish is perfectly flavoursome without the lamb, but the males of the household prefer it with, so there we are.  Rice and lentils are a great combination anyhow and adding just a handful or so when cooking 'plain' rice gives a new dimension of texture and taste to an ordinary side dish. Lentils are a great, inexpensive source of protein and the children have loved them since they were very small.  One of their favourite weaning foods was this Cheesy Lentil Savoury.  Type 'lentils' into the search bar above to see more of my recipes using this often-underappreciated (in the West, at least) ingredient.

 Spiced Rice & Lentils with Lamb

2 tbsp oil (I use rapeseed)
2 x 1” pieces of cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf
3 cloves
5 cardamom pods
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, minced
5cm piece ginger, minced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper,
250g minced lamb (optional!)
175g red lentils
200g basmati rice
750ml  water

1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp  melted ghee or butter
1 tbsp lime juice (bottled, in my case)
Chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and briefly fry the cinnamon, cloves, bay and cardamom.  Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, then mix in the garlic, the ginger and the other spices.  Add the lamb, if using, to the pan and brown it well, then tip in the rice and lentils and add the water.  Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for15 minutes, until  the rice and lentils are tender.  Using a fork, stir in the garam masala, the melted ghee (or butter), the lime juice and plenty of parsley.  Serve with some sort of flatbreads (pitta, naan, chapati...) and some raita or natural yoghurt.
Cath xx


Anonymous said...

Love the new look. It's good to see the boys too. Not long till we visit (in fact less than 2 weeks). Looking forward to the excellent cuisine and company. Big hugs Jon (and I'm sure Martin if he was here and not in Leeds) xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe Cath, going to try it out on my dear Hubby, its just the kind of thing he will enjoy

Once again, love the new look blog!.


Cath said...

@Helen, Please let me know how you get on... thanks both for your kind comments!
Cath x


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