Spice it up!

BARBECUED LAMB CUTLETS WITH SPICY YOGHURT SAUCE

8 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
sea salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup plain yoghurt
12 lamb cutlets
2 tbsp coriander leaves
2 tbsp mint leaves
1 long green chilli, seeds removed and minced
1 long red chilli, seeds removed and minced

Serves 4

Place half the oil in a medium saucepan and heat gently. Add the onion and a pinch of sea salt and fry for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly so the onion doesn't stick and burn, or until it turns light brown.

Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or so. Add the turmeric, cinnamon and cloves and stir for a moment, then add the yoghurt and remove from the heat.

Transfer the onion mix to a blender and purée until smooth. Keep sauce warm.

Heat a barbecue or grill to hot. Season the lamb with salt and brush with the remaining oil. Grill the lamb for about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. Rest the lamb for 3-5 minutes in a warm place, then pile the lamb on a plate and sprinkle with coriander, mint and chillies. Serve the yoghurt sauce on the side.

LENTILS WITH TAMARIND SAUCE

1/2 cup light vegetable oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup tamarind water (see Hot Tips)
2 cans cooked lentils, drained and liquid reserved
11/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground roasted cumin
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 red shallots, finely sliced

Serves 4

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry until it is lightly browned, stirring so it doesn't stick and burn. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and paprika and cook for a moment. Add the tomatoes and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tamarind water and the reserved lentil liquid. Simmer the mixture, covered, over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Add the lentils, garam masala and cumin and cook for about 3 minutes or until the lentils are heated through. Check seasoning, place in a bowl and sprinkle with shallots.

HOT TIPS

• The yoghurt sauce goes well with just about everything from lamb cutlets to chicken and seafood.

• The lentil dish is easy to prepare and has all the wonderful flavours that Indian cooking has to offer.

• Any canned pulse will work well here, although lentils or chickpeas are best. I have even used white beans and it tastes a treat.

• To make your own tamarind water, soak 1 cup tamarind pulp in 11/2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes, then strain it. But for a dish like this, it is far easier to use ready-made tamarind water. Tamarind pulp and tamarind water are available from Asian grocers.

• Serve the lentils with steamed rice or a rice pilaf.

SOMETHING TO DRINK

Shiraz-Viognier
Made by Tim Kirk, one of Australia's top winemakers, the 2010 Clonakilla O'Riada Shiraz ($35), from the Canberra District, co-ferments shiraz with a touch of viognier. Its lifted spicy notes, juicy fruit and supple tannins will complement the barbecued lamb.

Source: Good Weekend
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The story Spice it up! first appeared on WA Today.

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