I’ve always loved cumin. It has a warm aromatic flavour that adds depth to a dish like no other. In Autumn, when the evenings turn cold, this is just the kind of food I want – bursting with flavour, yet quick and easy to prepare. The perfume of spices instantly transports you to warmer climes – if ever there was soul food, this is it!
This dish is perfect for those on a ketogenic- / LCHF diet, or equally diabetics & gluten-intolerants. What little carbohydrate there is comes solely from vegetables, so it’s bursting with goodness. For those with a higher carb allowance, add a half-can of chickpeas or starchier vegetables such as squash or pumpkin. The ragout is incredibly adaptable to whatever you have on hand – just the thing for a mid-week meal therefore – use up the leftovers!
Start by dicing your vegetables. I used onion, celery, peppers, aubergine & mushrooms. Shake on a generous dusting of cumin and mix in two crushed cloves of garlic. If you like chilli, finely chop as much as you can bear then season well. Pour on sufficient olive-oil to coat then roast in a hot oven for half an hour.
Meanwhile, make your koftas. Place lamb mince into a bowl and measure in a small teaspoon of garlic salt, the same of paprika and two teaspoons of ground cumin. Grind in pepper and crushed sea-salt. Give it a good mix with your hands, then form into balls, about the size of a golf ball. Oven bake for half and hour until brown and succulent.
When the meatballs go into the oven, remove your vegetables and add to these a drained can of chopped tomatoes. Squeeze in some lemon juice and crumble in a chicken stock-cube. Chop the stems of your coriander and stir these into the mix. Place back into the oven for the remaining time it takes to cook the lamb.
Once cooked, take the lamb out of the oven to rest for a couple of minutes. Remove the vegetables and stir in a generous handful of grated cheese. This adds richness and a bit of body to the sauce. Ladle the ragout into bowls, then pile up your koftas to one side. Garnish with ripped coriander leaves and a final squeeze of lemon.
The perfect way to bring a little warmth to a cold November night.
Thanks for reading and bon ap!