Monday, November 16, 2009

Afghani Meat Sauce, Bulghur Pilaf with Spinach and Fried Onions, Yogurt Sauce

This meal is hearty, chock-full-of-nutrients, and fairly quick. The meat recipe is one I picked up along the way and the bulghur recipe is from the Almost Turkish blog. The yogurt sauce on the side is optional but it adds a nice balance to the meat. If you want to make the recipes separately, the meat sauce can be served over rice or macaroni, and the bulghur would make a nice side to any meat dish. Feel free to get creative with spices on the meat sauce--I used a seasoning mix from Morocco last time I made it.

Afghani Meat Sauce

1 1/2 lb. ground lamb or beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2-3/4 c. hot water
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
oil for cooking

If you have a pressure cooker, use it to cook the meat. If not, a regular frying pan with a lid will work.

Heat a little oil in the pan and add the meat. Break it up thoroughly while browning. Cook until excess moisture is gone. Add the onions and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the spices and salt. Stir in the tomato paste so that it's completely distributed. Add enough water to keep the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Pressure cook for 12 minutes, or simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.

Add the crushed garlic and salt to taste and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

Yogurt Sauce

1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. dried mint
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne

Combine all ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes.

Bulghur Pilaf with Spinach and Fried Onions

1 1/2 c. coarse bulghur
1 box frozen spinach, squeezed out well OR 1 large fresh bunch, washed and chopped
1 large onion, sliced thin
5 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice

Begin by caramelizing the onions in a large frying pan in 3 Tbsp. of olive oil, with a pinch of salt. Be patient! Keep cooking the onions while you make the pilaf until they are sweet and golden brown.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add the spinach and fry in the oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the spices, salt, broth, and bulghur and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pan to sit for 5 more minutes.

Chop the browned onions and add them to the pilaf.

1 comment:

Summer said...