1 1/4 pounds good-quality coarsely ground lamb
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 pound carrots (mixed colors if possible), peeled
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
A small bunch fresh cilantro, leaves picked
A small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
For the dressing:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 heaped teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Extra-virgin olive oil
This is a beautiful fresh Indian-style salad with a zingy crispness that goes wonderfully with spicy lamb. The dressed carrots can be served on their own with some added apple or celery for extra sweetness and crunch.
Heat a large frying pan and fry your ground lamb until all the fat comes out of it. Add the garam masala and a good pinch of salt and give it a stir. Keep frying until the meat is lovely and crispy. Shave the carrots into long thin strips with a peeler or a mandoline slicer and set them aside.
Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat and toast the cumin seeds for 30 seconds – they will start to smell nutty and gorgeous. You’re not trying to cook the seeds here, you’re just waking their flavors up a bit. Put them into a pestle and mortar and grind them up. Put the pan back on the heat and toast the sesame seeds until golden. Transfer them to a plate.
Slice your peeled shallots or onion wafer thin. As with all salads that contain onion, you don’t want to be coming across great big chunks! If you don’t feel confident about your knife skills, use the coarse side of a box grater instead. This will almost mush your onions to a puree, but at least you won’t come across any big bits.
To make your dressing, put the lemon zest and juice into a bowl and add the shallots or onion, grated ginger, ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together with about 5 tablespoons of extra- virgin olive oil. Pour the dressing over the carrots, add the cilantro and mint leaves, and mix it all together using your fingers. It’s important that you have a little taste to check whether the dressing needs more lemon juice, oil or seasoning.
Divide the crispy lamb between 4 plates and put the dressed salad on top. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Served with naan bread, some yogurt and lemon halves, this makes a great snack!