Lamb Meat Balls
Basmati Rice Pilaf
1. Texamati or other American-grown Basmati rice can be used; if Basmati rice is not available, substitute a long-grain rice, cooked to minimize stickiness.
2. To toast almonds, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast them, in a 350° oven about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the nuts, until they are golden and fragrant.
In a food-processor fitted with the metal blade, process all the ingredients except the oil until well chopped and combined. Shape the mixture into balls the size of marbles.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Brown the meat balls in batches. Remove from the pan to paper towels to drain. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the ¼ cup of oil. Add the rice and sauté about 1 minute or until the rice is shiny, stirring constantly.
Add boiling water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until the rice is just al dente and the water is absorbed. (Check periodically to make sure the rice does not stick to the pan. If it is sticking, stir it or add a little more water or both.)
Remove from the heat and let cool until the steam subsides. (Uji says that cooling ``"keeps the rice from getting gloppy when you put it in the casserole later.'')
Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onions, gingeroot, bay leaves, green chiles, turmeric, cayenne, salt and sugar. Sauté for 1-2 minutes over the low heat. Add the cooled-down rice and toss to combine. Remove the bay leaves.
Assembly & Serving
In a 4-quart casserole dish, layer half of the meatballs and top with half of the rice. Repeat the layers. Dot the rice with butter. Bake in a pre-heated 350° oven 10 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with the almonds and optional raisins and serve with raita.
Yield: 10 servings
In a non-reative bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro sprig for the garnish. Mix thoroughly, and serve garnished with the sprig. Makes about 2 cups.
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© 1998 Ronald Florence Last modified: Sat Sep 18 16:31:35 EDT 1999