Grilled Vegetable-Lamb Skewers
Prepare homemade Garam Masala: Combine cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, whole black peppercorns, whole cloves, and stick cinnamon in a medium skillet; cook and stir over medium-low heat about 3 minutes or until aromatic. Remove from heat and cool. Place the cinnamon stick in a resealable plastic bag; seal. Using a rolling pin or mallet, crush the cinnamon. Combine the spice in a spice grinder or blender. Cover and grind or blend to a fine powder. Set aside (see Tip).Advertisement
Trim fat from lamb. Cut lamb into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place lamb in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup of the cilantro, the onion, lime (or lemon) juice, garlic, ginger, jalapeno pepper (if using), garam masala, and salt in a medium bowl. Add cilantro mixture to lamb; seal bag. Toss to coat. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
On four 12-inch-long skewers (see Tip), alternately thread lamb and vegetable pieces, leaving a 1/4-inch space between pieces. Discard cilantro mixture.
Coat a cold grill rack with cooking spray. Place skewers on the coated rack of an uncovered grill, directly over medium coals. Grill for 12 to 14 minutes or until lamb is slightly pink in the center, turning once halfway through grilling. Stir together bulgur and remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro in a medium bowl. Serve with vegetable-lamb skewers.
Tips: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.
To cook bulgur, in a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water and 3/4 cup bulgur. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until tender.
Homemade Garam Masala can be stored in a covered container up to 6 months.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in enough water to cover for 30 minutes before using.
Variation: Broiler method: Preheat broiler. Place skewers on the unheated rack of a foil-lined broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 12 to 14 minutes or until lamb is slightly pink in center, turning once halfway through broiling time.
3 lean protein, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat