One of the most difficult things about going paleo is reinventing ways to enjoy childhood favourites that hug your body (literally). Some of these foods undoubtedly evoke certain emotions and experiences that would be shameful not to relive. It comes as no surprise that the centrepiece of these favourites are none other than, you guessed it – grains.
When I first went paleo I made sure to stay clear of any “trigger” foods: pretty much anything Indian. The doom of visiting family loomed on my head. Now what good was aloo kheema without a buttery naan or chicken khorma without basmati rice? Eventually, my dietary overhaul was taking over my life and annoying the heck out of those around me. Indian food was never really my thing (I’d much rather had eaten mac’ ‘n cheese) but out of nowhere I had a burning desire to eat EVERYTHING Indian RIGHT NOW.
Grains were the most difficult thing to remove from my diet (ask me at 11pm and I’ll have a different answer). So the prospect of serving up mama’s grub sans rice and bread sounded unappealing. At the same time, removing something that made up the bulk of my meals meant I wanted foods with robust flavours. Enter crispy sautéed lamb, also known as tala huwa gosht. There is no longer
deliciously aromatic and fragrant basmati rice and khatti daal to accompany it but it’s good enough to stand alone. Or with riced cauliflower. Or a fork at 1am with a movie (this has happened).
Crispy Sautéed Lamb
- 2 pounds lamb with bone, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder (based on your heat preference, potency of chilli powder. Mine is strong)
- 2-3 Thai chillis, cut lengthwise and deseeded
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Small handful cilantro
- Garnishes: sliced lemon/lime, sliced onion, cilantro
In a mixing bowl, combine lamb, one tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste and salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight to help tenderize the meat.
The next day, remove the meat from the fridge 30 minutes or so before cooking time. In a large skillet or pot heat the ghee on medium and add one tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste and sauté until fragrant.
Next, add your spices and allow them to bloom with the ghee and ginger-garlic paste for a minute while mixing to prevent burning.
At this point, add your lamb to the skillet and mix to thoroughly coat the lamb in the spices.
Cook for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally. If the lamb is not yet tender add water in half cup increments until it is. Next, add a small handful of chopped cilantro, thai chillies and juice of half a lemon. Continue sautéing for an additional 10 minutes until some edges are crispy and well-browned.
Plate the lamb and garnish with slices of lemon, onion and a handful of cilantro.
I hope you enjoy my family’s simple take on this classic!