Cookstr.com

Ground Lamb Meatballs with a Saffron Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

0 Comments

This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

I was lucky enough to be able to witness the way cooks pounded small chunks of lamb on a cutting board in a restaurant kitchen in Old Delhi that served authentic Kashmiri foods. This pounding was the beginning of silky-smooth meatballs that later simmered in a thin broth steeped with vermilion-red cockscomb flowers (called pran in Kashmir). It’s an ingredient rarely found outside Kashmir, so to recreate the color and flavor, I have combined ground Kashmiri chiles, a hint of saffron, and black cardamom pods—a near-perfect match. The flavors of this thin curry are potent, sinus-clearing, and intense. Make sure to serve it with basmati rice to bring down its intensity to a perfect balance.

Serves4

Cooking Methodpan-frying

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free

Mealdinner

Moodadventurous, blue

Taste and Texturehot & spicy, meaty, savory, spiced

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces lean ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon black cumin seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chiles; or ¼ teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper) mixed with
  • ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 4 or 5 black cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil or canola oil

Instructions

Mix the lamb, salt, fennel, cumin, ginger, onion, and garlic together in a medium-size bowl. (I like to use my clean hands to do this, as I can knead and massage the ingredients thoroughly into the meat.) Divide the spiced meat into 10 equal portions, and shape each portion into a tight round. (I usually compress it in one hand, to shape and press it into a taut ball.) As you form them, place the meatballs on a plate.

Pour 2 cups water into a small saucepan, and add the Kashmiri chiles, saffron, cardamom pods, and cloves. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the spices infuse the water and turn it into an aromatic, reddish-orange broth, about 5 minutes. Set it aside.

Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs, arranging them in a single layer, and cook, gently moving them around every few seconds to ensure even browning, until they are seared all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off the excess fat into a small bowl (you can use it in another recipe, as long as it’s not for vegetarians).

Pour the spiced broth over the meatballs. Raise the heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer the thin curry, uncovered, basting the meatballs every minute or two, until the lamb is barely pink inside, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the meatballs from the broth and transfer them to a serving bowl.

Continue to simmer the broth until it reduces to about ½ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour this bright red, potent broth over the meatballs, and serve.

YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED RECIPES

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!

Close

Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Facebook
Google
Twitter
OR
Sign In using Email and Password