I am making much more of an effort this year to eat seasonal food and we have begun to grow our own here at our new home. Which, by the way, is a great way to tune into what is in season throughout the year.
I am always checking the fresh food labels for country of origin, it amazed me in the beginning to learn how far away our food can travel from. I now stock up on Irish grown, or the EU for some favourites which are out of season.
So, with seasonal eating in mind, I decided lamb was on the menu. I don't often cook lamb and wanted to try something new. I found a recipe with bahārāt seasoning and an idea was planted.
There's only two and a half of us, so I opted for chops instead of a roast and chose buckwheat and seasonal veggies to go alongside. This was a wonderful midweek treat!
Lamb rubbed with spices (bahārāt works gorgeously with lamb) and cooked slowly is quite a traditional preparation in the Middle East.
Bahārāt is the Arabic word for ‘spices’, but is also the name of a traditional spice blend used throughout the Arab world. Also known as 7 spice, bahārāt is to Middle Eastern cuisine as garam masala is to Indian cuisine; the spices are ground into a fine powder, and it is a ubiquitous seasoning that differs from region to region, and sometimes kitchen to kitchen. It is by no means spicy; it is sweet, smoky and aromatic.
You can use Baharat spice blend on any meat or vegetables you like, it works great as a marinade and a dry rub before the BBQ. I'm excited to try it on all the tofu I have stocked up on recently.
I could not find a premade mix, so I made my own following the recipe below.
- 4 large lamb chops
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- rapeseed oil for cooking
- 2 cups buckwheat, rinsed well
- 4 cups veg stock
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small leek, finely sliced
- 1 punnet mushrooms, quartered
- a few handfuls of Kale, stalks removed and sliced
Bahārāt spice mix:
- 1¼ tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp finely ground black peppercorns
- ¾ tsp cumin seeds, finely ground
- ½ tsp each ground coriander seeds, ground cinnamon and ground cloves
- ¼ tsp each ground cardamom and ground star anise
- Small pinch of grated nutmeg
- 4 parts black pepper, 4 parts cumin seeds, 3 parts cloves, 3 parts cinnamon, 3 parts coriander seed, 1 part cardamom pods, 3 parts nutmeg, and 6 parts paprika. Store in an airtight container.
- 350g low-fat Greek yogurt (not Greek style)
- 28g fresh wild garlic or mint, finally chopped
- For bahārāt, sift all spices together. Makes about 1½ tbsp. (Store in an airtight container for up to six months.)
- Pound two garlic cloves and 1 tsp salt to a fine paste with a mortar and pestle. Add 50ml olive oil and 2 tsp bahārāt and pound to a paste, then massage into lamb. Marinade for 1 hour or overnight in your fridge.
- When you’re ready to roast the lamb, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 150°C. Cover the roasting tray with kitchen foil. The foil will stop the lamb chops from burning and keep the juices in.
- Roast for 3 hours, turning the chops over halfway through. Remove from the oven when the chops have a good colour all over.
- Make the yoghurt dip by mixing all the ingredients together and store in the fridge until serving time.
- About 30 minutes or so from serving time, you will begin to cook the buckwheat and vegetables.
- Cook your buckwheat according to the packet instructions (times can vary). I used vegetable stock instead of water for some extra flavour.
- Heat some rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, leeks and minced garlic, and sauté until softened (4-5 minutes). Add chickpeas, cumin and coriander seeds and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add the kale, and stir until kale is softened (5-7 minutes). Stir through the buckwheat when cooked. Season to taste.
- When lamb is ready, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Then pull from the bone and add to plates or stir through the buckwheat and veggies.
- Serve with yoghurt dip on the side and enjoy!
Don’t forget to post pictures of your meal on Instagram and tag me @PilatesBarreDlk or #VitalityNutritionProg. I share on my stories!