Saturday, 15 August 2009

indian-spiced lamb cutlets


if i were to write a book about my life - a very detailed book, obviously - this week would be titled 'Nausea' and subtitled 'The Week In Which I Lost My Appetite'.

i have eaten, of course, but in a sickly, non-interested kind of a way of a faddish child or an anorexic. eating because you know you have to eat rather than because you want to. i have been opening and closing the fridge door without taking anything out, i have stared at the cupboards blankly, i even tried eating bread and a couple of biscuits just to see if a sugar rush would get me going. (it didn't.) but mainly i have been wondering why and how i can normally spend hours thinking about what i am going to eat for dinner. this week, i almost forgot to eat a couple of times.

in the end, i thought i'd cook something that would normally make me salivate, something irresistible, just to try and coax my tastebuds out of hiding and my get my stomach working again. it had to be something salty and fatty - the kind of thing your doctor would balk at. i had some lamb cutlets in the freezer and i thought they'd fit the bill perfectly.

we've been eating these lamb chops from the local indian takeaway (emni on upper street - it's pretty amazing stuff) and i thought i'd try and replicate them at home. of course, you can't really do that because you need a proper tandoori oven or a barbecue but this was pretty good nevertheless. the secret is to leave the griddle pan to heat up to the point where you think it's not wise to have a lump of metal that hot in your kitchen. just stick it on the highest heat for 10 minutes while you go and do something else(without any oil, or you'll definitely be getting the fire brigade out). it's also best to leave the meat in the fridge for a day or two.

i stole the recipe from another food blog with a great title of hollow legs (www.lizzieeatslondon.blogspot.com). the recipe below is the original one.

INDIAN-SPICED LAMB CUTLETS
for two

4 lamb cutlets
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 green cardamom pods
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
2" ginger, minced finely
1 green chilli, chopped finely
zest of a half a lemon
1 tbsp tomato puree

dry fry the cumin, cardamom pods and the black mustard seeds until fragrant but make sure you don't burn them. use a pestle and mortar to grind into a fine powder.

mix with the rest of the ingredients and smear all over the lamb cutlets. leave to marinate.

when ready to cook, heat the griddle pan till very hot, then fry - without any oil - for two minutes on each side for medium rare. leave to rest for ten minutes before eating - it will make all the difference.

the dip on the side is just some creme fraiche mixed with finely chopped mint.

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