Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Ground Lamb Meatballs with a Saffron Sauce

“I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” Rabindranath Tagore

What a powerful truth to let in if I have the courage to be honest with myself. Fear holds me back from living my purpose, from hearing the voice calling me. I have spent sooooo much time, so many years, stringing and unstringing, banging my head against the same familiar and comfortable walls. But I have come to a new place in my older years where I am much more patient with myself, more understanding of this crazy predicament we all are born into. Life, this life, our life is really really complicated. To get to the other side, even temporarily, I have to feel it. I have to grieve it. I have to in time accept it. And finally I have to release it. And then maybe, just maybe, the song…my unique song… can be sung, one clear note at a time and my incessant re-stringing will finally fade into stillness.

Ingredients: 8 ounces ground lamb, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed, 1/2 teaspoon ground black cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 small red onion finely chopped, 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, 4 black cardamom pods, 6 whole cloves crushed, 2 tablespoons ghee

1.Mix the lamb with salt, fennel, cumin, ginger, onion, and garlic in a bowl, Use your hands and make about 10 meatballs tightly round.

2.Heat the ghee in a medium sized skillet over medium heat and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, moving around and watching to make sure they are brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and drain off excess fat.

3.Pour 2 cups of water into a small saucepan and add the cayenne, paprika, saffron, cardamom and cloves. Bring to a boil, cook uncovered until the spices infuse the water. about 5 minutes. Set aside. This is what is known as a thin curry (and it’s amazing what just water and spices can become!)

4. Put the meatballs back in skillet they were fried in and add the spiced broth. Cook on medium high and vigorously simmer the thin curry until the lamb is barely pink, about 10 minutes. Baste the meatballs during the time to ensure they are getting cooked. Transfer to a serving bowl.

5.Continue to simmer the broth for another 8 to 10 minutes until the curry is about 1/2 cup. Pour this bright potent broth over the meatballs and serve with white basmati rice.

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