Try Tandoori Lamb with Cucumber and Tomato Rice for a great midweek meal

Tandoori Lamb with Cucumber and Tomato Rice. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

I love the intriguing aroma and flavors of foods cooked in an Indian tandoor oven. To capture some of these flavors at home, I used a spice seasoned yogurt sauce, using spices easily at hand, ginger, coriander and cayenne pepper. Although not made in a special oven, the meal fills my requirement for some great Indian food, midweek.

Helpful Hints:


— You can use two crushed garlic cloves instead of minced garlic.

— You can use two teaspoons ground ginger instead of fresh ginger.

Shopping List:

To buy: 3/4 pound leg of lamb cubes, 1 container Greek-style plain yogurt, 1 small piece fresh ginger, 1 package microwaveable brown rice, 1 bottle ground coriander, 1 bottle cayenne pepper, 1 jar minced garlic, 1 bunch fresh mint, 1 cucumber, 1 container cherry tomatoes.

Staples: olive oil, sugar, salt and black peppercorns.

Tandoori Lamb

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

3/4 pound leg of lamb cubes

1 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt, drained

1/4 cup fresh mint, divided use

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (2 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons ground coriander

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Remove visible fat from lamb. Mix yogurt, 2 tablespoons chopped mint, ginger, coriander, cayenne pepper and sugar together to make a marinade. Divide the marinade in half. Add one half to a separate bowl and set aside. Add the lamb cubes to the remaining half. Stir the lamb to make sure all sides are coated with the marinade. Let marinate for 10 minutes while you make the rice.

After lamb marinates, heat oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet just large enough to hold lamb in one layer. Remove lamb from marinade. Add garlic to the skillet and then the lamb. Brown the lamb for 3 minutes. Turn and brown for 2 minutes.

Lower heat to medium. Spoon reserved half of marinade over lamb. Remove from heat and stir to combine sauce with lamb. Divide lamb in half and spoon into two small bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup chopped mint on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 373 calories (38% from fat), 15.9 g fat (5.2 g saturated, 6.5 g monounsaturated), 118 mg cholesterol, 45.4 g protein, 11.1 g carbohydrates, 1.9 g fiber, 149 mg sodium.

Cucumber and Tomato Brown Rice

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 package microwavable brown rice to make 1 1/2 cups rice

1 cup cucumber cubes (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch)

1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook rice according to package instructions. Measure 1 1/2 cups and set aside the remaining rice for another dinner. Add the olive oil, cucumbers, tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Divide in half and serve with the lamb.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 229 calories (16% from fat), 4 g fat (0.8 g saturated, 1.7 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol.

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