Monday, November 29, 2010

Lamb stew Miss Masala style

I have SAD. No it is not the grammar it is the disorder that I am talking about here. Cloudy, cold, gloomy, dark, rainy days make for lack in energy and lethargy. Those days makes me want to curl up under the blanket and stay there. Sounds good but not a plausible solution.

In winter when days gets shorter SAD hits head on. Is it just me? seems that a lot of other people drag along and are grumpy especially when it is cloudy and drizzly outside. Even when it is freezing cold if the sun is out the possibilities seem endless.

When there are kids, house work, work work, meals, drop offs and picks ups to deal with there is no time to let SAD to bowl you over. Research says the condition affects women more than men.

One way I deal with it to get out and exercise and it most definitely keeps SAD at bay. I have discovered a liking for early morning swimming which has helped immensely. I keep coming back to the topic of exercise and activity, more to stress the fact that it helps to keep energy levels high, a lighter mood and a positive frame of mind. It certainly makes for a whirlwind morning but it is certainly worth it.

Food is another important component in dealing with SAD, no surprise - carbohydrates and sugar aggravate the condition.

Did I mention that Winter is not my favorite time of the year? Several times in fact Sorry!. If you have the Winter Blues or more scientifically 'Seasonal Affective Disorder' read this article - Winter's limited light darkens many moods.

Not to make light of the condition, it is debilitating for some while some find ways to deal with it.

Now on to more pleasant and tasty things. By the way did you all have a good Thanksgiving celebration? I decided to forgo the Turkey and try cooking lamb for the first time. DH likes lamb but I could not muster the courage because most lamb I have met were chewy and smelly and generally not very appetizing. The butcher at Whole Foods suggested 'Lamb Shoulder Arm Chops' as best of the cuts he had for making stew. It is very essential to get good quality meat to get the right texture.

Thanks to Sandeepa I got myself armed with 'Miss Masala'., If you want to do elegance without too much effort, this is the book you should turn to.

I was looking for a lamb stew recipe, and what do I find in the book - a lamb recipe with the fewest ingredients you can imagine for a meat dish. Flavorful and completely satisfying, Miss Masala style.

Recipe Source: Lamb stew from the book 'Miss Masala'
Lamb stew
1. 2 lb lamb (cut into cubes with bones)
2. 2 cups red onion sliced thin
3. 6-8 garlic cloves minced
4. 1 tbsp ginger grated
5. 1 Cup plain yogurt (bring to room temperature)
6. 1/2 tbsp black pepper
7. 1 tbsp coriander powder (I roasted and powdered whole coriander seeds)
8. 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
9. whole spices - bay leaves (2-3), cloves (a few), one small piece of cinnamon
10. salt to taste
11. 3-4 tsp of oil

1. Wash the meat with turmeric powder and set it aside
2. In a wide mouthed, heave bottomed pan heat 2 tsp of oil and when hot add the lamb and get it browned for a few minutes and set it aside
3. In the same add the rest of the oil and when hot add the whole spices, let them sizzle for a couple of seconds
4. Add the onions and let them saute for a few minutes, add the garlic and ginger and saute till they get well browned
5. Add the lamb saute for a few more minutes and then add the pepper, chili and coriander powders
6. Bring the heat all the way to low and add in the whisked yogurt, mixing it well (this is important to avoid the yogurt from curdling)
7. Add 3 cups of water, cover the lid and let it cook for 30 minutes
8. Open the lid and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until the required consistency is reached. Towards the end of the cooking add salt. The meat at this time should be soft and melt in the mouth

Serve with rice or any bread of choice


  1. Hey Indo.. I agree, winters and long dark days are terribly depressing. Exercise truly gives a terrific jump start. Just the perfect way to start the day! :)

    Your curry sounds/looks kind of like goulash!

  2. Yummy lamb stew, very tempting and mouthwatering..

  3. I don't like winter too, it makes me depressed if i didn't had to go out i would love to hybernate like a big bear andcome out when it is spring again and here it is snowing and icy cold too.
    Love the stew this sure will make you feel warm inside.

  4. Honey, poor you! But then, as you quite rightly say who has time to be depressed these days!! So glad you won the cookbook... and that the lamb stew came in handy. xx

  5. Winters can get me down sometimes but with the little ones at home, it's so busy, there's no time to feel sad nowadays :)
    I think we should be back to sunny days come Thursday..

  6. even i luved the book,..some recipes are really interesting,..:-) stew looks yum,.

  7. Hi Indo,

    I have to join your club of hating winter. I find that I have to excercise more in winter since i don't seem to burn as much calories as in the summer and also tend to eat more in the winter. After a brisk walk or jog definitely all the stress from work disappears and feel really light hearted! Your lamb stew looks different..

  8. me too in the same boat...Not a winter fan!...want to curl up under blankets all the time!
    but surely and lamb fan! the stew looks delish!

  9. Vitamin D, Indo. That helps a L.O.T. I have to start working on the exercise, low carb and no sugar part. Been binge-ing lately.

    miss masala style lamb stew sounds so yummmm!

  10. Perfect for a cold winter. I don't like winter but at least till Dec its ok. Jan & Feb are particularly depressing
    Glad you enjoyed the book

  11. I think I have SAD too :-( I just cannot stand this getting dark early thing and from 4 in the afternoon I start getting fidgety and nervous.

    The Bongs usually do this "mansher jhol" kind of thing with goat. Perfect thing for cold cold nights.

  12. The stew looks absolutely mouthwatering. Winter can have really terrible effects. It was -30 here just 2 days bk and with very short days and hardly any sunlight its terrible. However, have to keep myself going for my family depends completely on me:). Blogging..keeping busy really helps

  13. Spicy stews are a good remedy. Good food always helps. Hearty soups, chilli, make winter seem even worth while! Glad that our winters are mostly sunny.


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