I spend a beautiful fall morning bringing out my Kashmiri spices in my American kitchen trying to connect and reconnect with a land so abundant with beauty and an unmatched gastronomical adventure.
Kashmiri cuisine traces back to centuries of tradition, spices and methods of cooking. The cuisine has evolved over the centuries absorbing influences from settlements and migrations. The flavors and spices of Kashmiri cuisine include dry ginger, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and saffron to name a few.
My home smells like fennel and ginger and far away tales of dreams and amazing food are weaving in through the aroma creating an aura of peace.
This particular dish is my version of delicately flavored lamb minced and shaped in long finger shapes ( Matzgand) cooked with spinach
A little about the amazing spices I have used.
- Cloves: Dried flower buds that contain antiseptic properties and help in preserving food
- Fennel Powder: Ground fennel commonly used to flavor sauces and stocks
- Dry Ginger Powder: Fresh ginger is dried and then ground and has a distinct flavor aside from its healing properties
- Asafoetida: a spice derived from the plant Ferula assa-foetida – a very distinct flavor and a pinch is all you need.
- Red Kashmiri Chili powder for that intense color and spice.
- Mawal ( cockscomb): A velvety flower dried and powdered for that deep color in Kashmiri dishes
- 2 lbs minced lamb
- 1 bag of frozen spinach
- 2 tsp ginger powder
- 3 tsp fennel powder
- 3 tsp. red chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 pinch Asafetida or hing
- 1/2 tsp Mawal powder ( optional)
- Crushed seeds of 4 Black Cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 2 green cardamom
- Pink salt
- Mustard oil for cooking
- Take the lamb in a bowl and add 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp chili, 1 tsp fennel, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin powder, crushed black cardamoms and a couple of tablespoons of mustard oil.
- At this point run it through the food processor for a few minutes until everything comes together.
- Using oil to grease your palms shape together the long finger shaped kebabs and set aside.
- Boil the spinach in 1/2 cup water for about 5 mins. Drain and remove any excess water.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, add 3 tablespoons of mustard oil and let it smoke.
- Add cloves, asafetida, 2 tsp red chili powder and salt. Immediately add 1 cup water and cover so the mixture sizzles.
- One the mixture turns red, add 3 cups of water and remaining ginger, cumin and fennel. Bring to a boil and adjust salt to taste.
- Add the finger shaped kebabs into the boiling sauce. Let it come to a boil and them add the spinach. Let is cook for 30 mins.
- Add 1/2 tsp of Mawal powder during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Sprinkle with crushed green cardamom before serving with rice.
Sharing this unique dish with friends at Fiesta Friday