Lamb and Feta in Saffron BunsCourse: DinnerCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Intermediate
I found this recipe in the San Francisco Chronicle and immediately fell in love with all the ingredients. Having lived and spent time in England and Scotland from a young age, I fell in love with Indian Cuisine and Indian spices. These buns are a wee bit challenging to make but the end result is well worth the time and energy. I made these for my family and they were gone the minutes I served them. They are better the day you make them but can be reheated the following day for lunch or dinner. I served this with some curried couscous and green beans as that is one vegetable my kids both agree on. They both love loads of vegetables but very few overlap.. This recipe requires a lot of time but it is worth it. It might make a wonderful Sunday project.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon garam massala
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons cidar vinegar
- Saffron Buns
20 saffron strands
Seeds from 4 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup whole milk
4 Tablespoons butter, cubbed, plus extra to grease pan
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 cup soft feta or goat cheese, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon black cumin
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once oil is hot add onions and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, garam masala, chili, cayenne, turmeric, and tomato paste and cook for 40 seconds while continuing to stir. Mix in the lamb, salt, and vinegar and cook with occasional stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 25-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drain the excess fat in the pan. Allow to cook completely before using.
- Using a mortar and Pestle, grind the saffron, cardamon, and salt into a fine powder. Add it a saucepan with the milk, butter and sugar on low heat with occasional stirring until butter and sugar have melted and dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool, using a cooking instant read thermometer, let cool to 110 degrees. Whisk in egg with a fork and set aside.
- Mix the yeast and the flour in the bowl, of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment on low speed until combined. With the machine on low speed, add the milk-egg mixture in a steady stream into the dry ingredients and continue to mix for 5-6 minutes, until the dough comes together. It should be quite elastic when done.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 1 minute. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a large lightly buttered bowl. Cover and keep in a warm spot in the kitchen until it doubles in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment and butter the pan well. Preheat oven to 350. Roll the dough to form a rectangle that is roughly 9×12 inches. Sprinkle the cooled lab mixture all over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch boarder on each side. Do the same with the cheese.
- Starting at the shorter end, roll the pastry over itself to form a log, pressing gently and pinching the seams on the top side to seal. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces about 1 inch thick. Arrange them in the prepared pan, cut side down.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 1 hour until the dough has risen and rolls touch each other in the pan.
- Whisk the egg yolk and water together in a small bowl and generously brush the surface of the rolls. Sprinkle with Black Cumin, if you have it. Back for 25-30 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean from center. Allow the buns to cool to cool in the pan in 5 minutes and transfer them to a wire rack to cool Serve warm.