January 22, 2009

Curried Lamb Riblets

food-7961 One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to expand my knowledge of Indian cuisine. If you happen to know anything about Indian cuisine, that’s a relatively large undertaking. Indian cuisine is quite diverse. The variety of cultures, religious beliefs, and family traditions throughout India all shape the meals eaten. I won’t begin to attempt to talk about all of the various types of Indian cuisine, as I am still learning (and it will probably take me a while!). This dish is adapted from a Northern Indian dish, and uses similar ingredients to Rogan Josh. However, I happened to have lamb riblets on hand, so I thought, why not use those? They took longer to cook than say, a lamb shank or shoulder, but the wait was worth it. The meat was succulent and so tasty. If you have difficulty finding the spices at your regular grocery store, you might try browsing an Indian or Asian specialty store. Actually, if you have the opportunity to visit one of these stores, I encourage you to go. The spices you can find in these stores are vastly superior in freshness than anything sold at mainstream groceries. And they’re significantly less expensive.

This dish was wonderful with some simple steamed basmati rice.

If anyone has other Indian recipes for me to try, I would love to see them!

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 T chili powder

1 T ground cumin

¼ T turmeric

1 ½ c plain yogurt

2 t garam masala

Salt to taste

2 lbs lamb riblets, cut into individual ribs (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)

 

2 T vegetable oil

5 cardamom pods

2 bay leaves

1 1-inch cinnamon stick

1 t cumin seeds

1 T ground coriander

4 fresh green chiles, minced

1 ½ c diced tomatoes (canned will work fine)

½ c fresh cilantro, chopped

 

To make marinade: In a blender or food processor, combine onion, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, ½ c of the yogurt, garam masala, and salt. Blend until well incorporated. In a large Ziploc bag (or in a bowl), combine lamb ribs with marinade. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.

 

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large, deep saucepan over medium high heat. Add cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds. Quickly add the coriander and stir, and add the lamb riblets along with the marinade. Saute over high heat, turning ribs over once and stirring up surrounding sauce, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pan and cook until the sauce is almost dry, about 15 minutes.

 

Add the green chiles, tomato, and remaining yogurt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until lamb riblets are tender, about 2 hours. Serve over steamed basmati rice, garnished with cilantro.

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