For Your Next Dinner Party

Persian Lamb with Cumin Rice

You can of course substitute chicken or beef for the lamb.

Serves 6

½ teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons salt

2 pounds boneless lamb

¼ cup butter or olive oil

½ cup finely minced onion

3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced; or 1(15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juice

½ cup plain yogurt

Mix together turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, paprika, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Trim away any excess fat and cut lamb into 2-inch cubes; set aside. Melt butter in heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté onions until golden; remove onions with slotted spoon and set aside. Increase heat to medium high and sauté lamb pieces in remaining butter until browned. Sprinkle reserved spice mixture over lamb, stir well. Add tomatoes and onions, reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Check occasionally and add water if sauce begins to stick. Just before serving, stir a bit of the hot sauce into the yogurt and then add it back to the pan. Serve hot with Cumin Rice (recipe below)

Cumin Rice

Makes 6 cups

3 cups rice, preferably basmati

6 cups water

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 cup whole cumin seeds

1/4 cup salad oil

First, cook the rice: Bring water and salt to a boil, add rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, crush seeds lightly and sauté in oil. When rice is done, fold in seeds and serve immediately.

From The Complete Spice Book

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