How to cook tandoor lamb with chorba
Published: 27-May-2012 (02:13); Viewed: 2532; Difficulty: 7 out of 10
This dish was originated from Central Asia, or more precisely, from Uzbekistan. Originally, it was cooked in tandoor – cylindrical clay oven, but this variation is adopted to the standard cooking environment in the modern kitchen. The main idea of this dish – oven roast the large lamb part and collect all dripping fat and juice into the chorba, or soup prepared directly under the meat. This will give plenty of advantages. Firstly, you will not loose any meat juice. Secondly, the steam from the soup will make the meat much more tender.
Because this is basically two different dishes, we will describe all ingredients in two different places. Ingredients for tandoor baked lamb are very simple
- Large part of lamb. Whole shoulder is the optimal one.
- Freshly grounded black pepper
- Cumin (or zira)
- Aromatic plants:
This step is not very important, but many chefs prefer to do it, because this simple step will make further carving much easier. Removing of scapular bone. From internal side of the lamb shoulder, near the beginning of the scapular bone, with small sharp knife, remove small bit of meat to open the narrow bit of this bone.
Cut the narrow part of scapular bone with one strong hit of very strong chopping knife or a meataxe.
Pull out scapular bone. After some practising, all these manipulations will require less than a minute, but at the first time you can play more than 10 minutes and do not have any progress.
Score the surface of the shoulder.
Grind spices and salt. Chop green plants. I always prefer to use freshly grounded spices, because they have much more aroma rather than milled long ago.
Cover lamb shoulder with spices and green chops, and rub them in. Leave prepared shoulder for some time to marinade.
Now, when the shoulder is resting with spices, is a good time to prepare everything for chorba. Ingredients are very simple, basically, choose vegetables you like and small piece of lamb meat. This time I've choose
- Sweet paprika
- Spices: salt, black pepper, hot chilli, cypress.
- About half-kilo chunk of lamb meat
- Hot boiling water – you can use cold water as well, but the cooking time will be a bit longer.
Clean and slice all vegetables. Don't slice them too finely.
Place all vegetables, meat and spices, together with cypress into a large (3-5 litres) shallow bowl or tray.
Fill with the hot water to cover all vegetables. Do not worry if some parts of them will be on the air – they will slightly burn and this will give you some smoky taste in your chorba, like in proper tandoor chorba.
Prepare few foil trays with cypress chops. These trays will be used to make some smoky aroma to the lamb. Of course you can omit this part of recipe, but then your dish will loose the beauty of real tandoor cooked food.
Place everything into pre-heated to 200 degree C oven. Lamb on very top, ideally lamb should be hanged, but standard ovens are not big enough. Exactly under the meat place the bowl or tray with chorba, to be sure that all dripping meat juice and fat will be captured. Trays with cypress bits put somewhere around at the bottom of your oven.
The overall cooking time will be about 2 hours. During this time change burned cypress to a new one. Check that your chorba is full of water, sometimes water evaporate a bit quickly, and you should add some more, but usually this will not happen, because on the top you will have plenty of lamb fat.
That’s it really.
Serve carved meat with vegetables, with sliced onion or quickly pickled onion and chopped dill, green onion and coriander.
Also serve a cup with lovely lamb stock with adding of chopped dill, green onion and coriander.
tips and tricks
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