Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An Easy Pea-sy Meal for A Cold Spring Night!

We're lucky here in Sonoma. The days are growing warm if not downright hot, and the nights are still briskly cool. We're also fortunate in that there's a whole lot of great stuff coming into season and readily available. One of those things is spring lamb from Sonoma Direct.  One pound of ground lamb makes a great and fast-cooking centerpiece dish for a simple spring lunch or dinner for the family.
  I love this dish because it's easy and one only needs to add one more vegetable or a salad and some chapattis and boom! The meal is done.
  It's called Kheema Mattar, mattar is peas in Punjabi...so, ground meat and peas. Here's how simple it is.
  Start with:
 1 lb of ground lamb
  In a food processor grind up:
2 chopped onions
4 shallots
A  2 inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped
1 serrano chilli. If you'd like it a bit hotter add one more.
  In a heavy skillet or kadhai heat:
2 Tbs of vegetable oil.
 When it's hot add in:
The onion mixture
2 Bay leaves
Stir it around for about 2 minutes or so until it's a nice golden color.
Then toss in the ground lamb stir fry it for 15 minutes or so, don't let it stick.
 Then add in :
2 Tbs of tomato paste
Lower the heat to a simmer.
Then add in:
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
2 Tbs of ground coriander
2 Tbs ground cumin
Stir it around for 1 minute.
 Then add in:
2 Tbs plain yogurt
3 tsps of salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Keep frying for another 5  minutes.
Now, add in 3/4 cup of water just a bit at a time until all the water is absorbed.
 If you're adding fresh peas put 1 and 1/2 cups of them in now. If using frozen peas, hold off.
 Put the lid on the pan and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes or so. About 5 minutes before you're done, add in the frozen peas.
 Finish cooking.
 Just before serving, sprinkle in 1/4 tsp garam masala
 3 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro.
 This serves 4 adults.
Bingo! A fast simple and inexpensive dish. Serve it wrapped in a chapatti with a simple green salad, or dress it up a bit if you're more ambitious.
 I wish I had prettier pictures of this Kheema Mattar to show you, but in the pantheon of dishes it may not be the most beautiful but this is the one with personality!


  1. perfect...as you have said..for a cold night.

  2. I am not really a huge fan of lamb (meat in general) but I can see how this dish must be a real delight with all the spices. Is it cold in Sonoma?

  3. Last week we had rain and hail..this week it's warm and mild but gets chilly in the evening (good for the grapes)..I've never been a huge lover of lamb, but I've gotten to like it properly cooked.

  4. This sounds awfully good! Funny how some of the best tasting dishes aren't always the prettiest... A real problem for us bloggers. Buy actually if you ask me this looks good, too. But then, I have simple tastes...

  5. hmm.. my fav. yesterday i tried the veggie version with minced soya beans..

  6. I need more of this. Plenty of cold nights now.

  7. That sounds so good! I need ground lamb-stat -lol. I am eating Mattar Paneer right now and am trying to get the rice to turn into lamb but it's not working :-)

  8. This is the best comfort food. We generally eat it with basmati rice (only because my chapattis are ridiculously lopsided). Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

  9. This is perfect for those night when you need pure comfort..lamb and ginger so delsih together..


  10. @sweetllife, yes and it's fast too, always a good thing.

  11. Kathy, by now I know I can count on you for a quick, easy and flavorful meal. I have added you to my blogroll so I can find you easier!



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