Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What's the Matar?

Kheema Matar con Piselli e Cavolo Rapa

Kheema Matar with Snow Peas & Kohlrabi

It was time to spice things up again this evening and to try my hand at making my own version of a favorite Indian dish of mine called Kheema Matar. The first time I ate it, was strangely enough in Paris of all places! I ordered the lamb and pea curry and was expecting to receive a chunky stew of lamb, but instead was presented with a dish of ground meat and peas, looking a little like spicy baby food. I was not impressed with the appearance I have to admit... but oh! The flavor was wonderful!

So this is my version... 100% not-authentic (well, not quite ;-) ), but easy, fast and delicious nonetheless! In the original dish that I was served there was diced potato, which was really nice... but this evening I thought I would give it a go using kohlrabi, to add a little bit of a fresher flavor... and all I can say is that I was delighted with the result! I hope you will be too!

I started off by sautéeing the ground lamb in a dry frying pan- ground meat almost always has enough fat of its own. I added a good tablespoon of Garam Masala, a teaspoon of Tandoori spice, a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of tomato paste and let these fry with the meat. I added a tablespoon of tomato paste, some grated ginger and crushed garlic and kept on stirring until everything was nicely mixed and seasoned with salt, pepper and some ground chili.

Next step was to add the kohlrabi, which I cut into bite-sized chunks. I stir-fried it together with the other ingredients until it gained a little color. I added a cupful of yogurt and a cupful of water and stirred this in well... it soon became a lovely rich sauce, taking up all of the good flavors and colors of the spices- so easy and totally wonderful!

I added the snow peas and some sliced cherry tomatoes and continued cooking for 2-3 minutes and then realized, with the added moisture from the tomatoes, that the sauce could do with some thickening... and so I added a teaspoon of my now beloved gram flour, making sure to sprinkle it evenly and stir it in quickly in order to avoid any lumpiness. At this point, I also added some sliced Spring onion- I didn't add it too early because I wanted it to retain a bit of bite and not become too soft.

I gave it an extra 3-4 minutes in order for the flour to dissolve completely and for the consistency to become smooth and delicious, rather than floury and bland... and after that, gave it a little squeeze of lime juice before serving and enjoyed it immensely with a little Naan bread. And somehow I think that you might do too!

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