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Indian Feast!

I had another wonderful experience at the Whole Foods Salud cooking school, this time on Indian food. Originally the class had five students, then two called and cancelled. The other two did not show up. So I got a solo lesson! Even better, we had help! So it was me, Chef, and four helpers! That’s what I call a cooking class. Definately got my $65’s worth.

The menu was: Kofta Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce; Vegetable Samosas with Coriander Chutney; Chicken Tikka Masala with Sauteed Onions; Naan; and Pistachio & Cardamom Ice Cream (and rice of course).

My favorite recipe of the night ended up being the meatballs. They are very simple lamb meatballs that offered a lot of flavor and are good for someone on a low-carb diet as there is no breadcrumbs as binder – binding is yogurt only. I was rather amazed. I’m also curious as to how much I am loving the lamb recipes I’ve tasted lately. Can’t wait until I start seeing lamb for sale by my local farmers!

Kofta Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce

1 pound ground lamb

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

3 tbsp whole milk yogurt

Mix all the ingredients together and shape into about 30 meatballs.

For the sauce: 5 cloves peeled garlic, 1 inch piece peeled and chopped ginger, 1 1/4 c water, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 c canola oil (as per the recipe, but I would use coconut oil at home), 1 cinnamon stick, 6 cardamom pods (smash ’em), 6 whole cloves, 1/2 c finely chopped onion, 1/2 c canned crushed tomatoes, 4 tbsp whole milk yogurt, 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt.

Blend garlic, ginger and 4 tbsp of the water in a blender until it forms a paste. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne and blend to combine.

Put oil into a frying pan over high heat and stir in cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Add onions and saute until they are reddish brown. Reduce heat to medium and add paste from blender and the tomatoes. Stir and cook until the mixture browns, then add 1 tbsp of yogurt. Stir to incorporate, then add another tablespoon. Repeat for rest of yogurt. Stir in remaining water and salt and bring to a simmer. Add all meatballs to the pan in a single layer. Lid the pan, slightly ajar, turn heat to low and cook for 25 minutes. Stir gently every 5 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-low, cook until meatballs are browned. (So…I don’t know how you would exactly “brown” a meatball sitting in liquid…cooked through should suffice!)

Chef Antonio and the KKF

Now, all of the dishes were tasty and I definately enjoyed making the naan (not hard at all!) and the samosas were fun (what part of FRIED is not fun?). But the meatballs were tops in my book. Followed by the ice cream, which I freaking forgot to take a picture of! Argh! Well, I guess I’ll just have to make it and take a pic of my own and share the recipe. It is just different enough to be the perfect end to an Indian dinner.

Also, if you’ve ever gone bonkers over that green sauce they give you with your Indian takeout, it’s pretty much just cilantro, fresh jalapeno, lemon juice, salt, roasted cumin seeds and black pepper. Let ‘er rip in the blender (maybe add some water) and adjust seasonings to your taste. Love that stuff!

Posing with the spread!

Practicing a pose for my new cooking show, "How to Not Screw It Up Too Bad."

IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD ALREADY!! For real, this is what happens when you're the only student and all the assistants had a glass of wine.

Chef Antonio

Close up of chicken curry

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