Indian food is not really on the top of my favorite foods list. I don’t know why, but I just never fell in love with curry. This recipe is definitely an exception for me. Jamie Oliver never fails to impress with his simple and beautiful recipes. I love the spicy lamb and sweet and crunchy carrots. We added some romaine lettuce to make this a meal instead of a starter. We also liked the addition of fruit (grapes from our fridge in this case) for some extra sweetness; green apple peeled like the carrot would be a great addition as well. Such a fresh salad with unique ingredients is a great way to mix things up. Is this one that you will try??
The grapes we added were some cool black seedless grapes, they looked like olives but obviously weren’t. This is a great dish when you are bored or in a dinner rut. The only other curry dish I really like is Jamaican Meat Pies from Molly O’Neil’s New York Cookbook also a great dish. Thanks for this one Jaime!
Indian Carrot Salad
Courtesy ‘Jamie at Home’ by Jamie Oliver
• 1 1/4 pounds good-quality coarsely ground lamb
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• sea salt
• 1 pound carrots (mixed colors if possible), peeled
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• a small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked
• a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked
for the dressing
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 3 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 heaped teaspoon
• freshly grated ginger
• extra virgin olive oil
Heat a large frying pan and fry your ground lamb until all the fat comes out of it (you can remove some of the fat if there is a lot). Add the garam masala and a good pinch of salt and give it a stir. Keep frying until the meat is lovely and crispy.
Shave the carrots into long thin strips with a peeler or a mandolin slicer and keep them to one side.
Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat and toast the cumin seeds for 30 seconds – they will start to smell nutty and gorgeous. You’re not trying to cook the seeds here, you’re just waking their flavors up a bit. Put them into a pestle and mortar and grind them up. Put the pan back on the heat and toast the sesame seeds until golden. Transfer them to a plate.
Slice your peeled shallots or onion wafer thin. As with all salads that contain onion, you don’t want to be coming across great big chunks! If you don’t feel confident about your knife skills, use the coarse side of a box grater instead. This will almost mush your onions to a purée, but at least you won’t come across any big bits. To make your dressing, put the lemon zest and juice into a bowl and add the shallots or onion, grated ginger, ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together with about 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Pour the dressing over the carrots, add the cilantro and mint leaves, and mix it all together using your fingers. It’s important that you have a little taste to check whether the dressing needs more lemon juice, oil or seasoning.Divide the crispy lamb between four plates and put the dressed salad on top. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Served with naan bread, some yogurt and lemon halves, this makes a great snack!