Recipe: Add Some Spice to Your Kitchen
Add spice to your plate with this Indian dish from Aarti Sequeira. Here, her kheema with ground lamb and garam masala recipes offer bold flavour.
Sweet, savoury, even fiery—the combination of just a few spices can liven any dish with taste sensations. Indian cuisine in particular relies on the marriage of spices for its flavour and occasional fire. All you need are seven spice staples—cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, chilli pepper and mustard—to create delightful and boldly flavoured Indian specialities.
One such dish comes from Mumbai-born Aarti Sequeira, host of the US-based Food Network programme Aarti Party. Kheema is an Indian dish made with ground meat and peas. “It has a delicious mix of spices in it and is a big crowd-pleaser!” says Aarti. Traditionally kheema is made with lamb; Aarti suggests using ground beef as a substitute. Ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper add plenty of flavour, as does aromatic garam masala; Aarti’s garam masala recipe blends cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
Kheema With Ground Lamb
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2.5-cm thumb) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon store-bought or homemade garam masala (recipe follows)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, optional
1 pound ground lamb (or beef)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shucked fresh English peas or 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 teaspoons malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few extra leaves for garnish
4 chapattis or pitas, warmed
In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute. Stir in the coriander, paprika, garam masala, cumin and cayenne, if using, and cook for 1 minute.
Add the lamb or beef, breaking up lumps with a spoon, and sauté until the meat is no longer pink. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper. If using fresh English peas, sprinkle them in. Stir well and simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes; if using frozen peas, add them now, and cook another 5 minutes, partially covered.
Stir in the vinegar and chopped cilantro. Garnish with torn cilantro leaves and serve with warm chapattis or pita bread.
Aarti’s Hot (Not Heavy!) Garam Masala
3 large cinnamon sticks (if you have the kind you get at Indian stores, use about 3 tablespoons of cinnamon bark bits)
3 tablespoons whole cloves
1/4 cup green cardamom pods, shelled, husks discarded (about 2 tablespoons of seeds)
4 large black cardamom pods, shelled, husks discarded (about 1 tablespoon of seeds), optional
Combine the cinnamon sticks, cloves, green cardamom seeds and black cardamom seeds, if using, in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and grind until fine. Store the spice mix in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. Makes about 1/2 cup.