There are millions of recipes available online nowadays. My rule-of-thumb when looking for a great one is to find the work of a great chef. For instance, if I was looking for an unusual lamb preparation for Easter, and I could choose between one from Daniel Boulud and another from the corporate chef at Olive Garden, well...
As it turns out, Daniel Boulud does indeed have an Easter recipe, and it's ideal for those who desire the tastiness and symbolism of lamb but want something a bit more exotic than a big red roast. This Lamb Rekha dish features the meat cubed and simmered slowly with herbs, spinach, yogurt, and Indian curry spices. If you've ever dined at db Bistro Moderne in downtown Miami, you should have total faith that this dish will turn out delicious.
And speaking of delicious recipes from great chefs: Mr. Boulud publishes a monthly recipe column on the elle decor website. The April recipe, which isn't up yet, will be this Easter-themed lamb.
Lamb Rekha (Indian Green Curry)
- 1.5 lb. spinach leaves, washed
- 1.5 cups half-and-half
- 2 tbs. vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 tbsp.)
- 2 medium red onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp. freshly ground coriander
- 2.5 tbsp freshly ground cumin
- .5 tbsp. kala namak powder (Indian black sesame)*
- .5 tbsp. amchoor powder (dried mango powder)*
- .5 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- .5 tbsp. ground garam masala*
- 2 lb. boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 3 plum tomatoes cut in large dice
- 5 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
- 2 bunches cilantro leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and have a bowl of ice ready. Boil spinach for 3 minutes, or until tender. Strain and transfer to the ice water to chill.
2. Place the half-and-half in a small pot over high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Strain and squeeze the spinach dry; transfer to a blender with the hot half-and-half. Puree until smooth and bright green; season to taste with salt and pepper, and refrigerate.
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or casserole over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until aromatic but not browned.
4. Add the onions and continue to cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent. Ad the coriander, cumin, kala namak, amchoor, cayenne, and garam masala. Continue to cook, stirring, until the spices become fragrant.
5. Reduce heat to medium low. Add the lamb and stir until well coated in the spices. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until lamb is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the sea salt and enough water to cover 3/4 of the contents of the pot. Add tomatoes, stir to combine, cover, and cook at a very low simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours (or until the lamb is fork-tender).
7. Remove from heat and add 4 tbsp. of yogurt, the spinach puree, and cilantro. Stir well and check seasoning; adjust if needed. Top with remaining yogurt and serve over basmati rice.
*Spices can be purchase at kalustyan.com.
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