Curried Lamb Meatballs w Coconut Rice & Spicy Grilled Eggplant
I used a lime and cream curry lamb sausage recipe from my book for the meatballs in this recipe. If you like, you can simply buy ground lamb and season it with garlic, onion, and curry powder, plus a little salt and perhaps an egg yolk.
1 lb. Curry Lamb Sausage, or ground lamb, seasoned as above
2 T. butter
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, grated on a microplane grater
1 t. cane sugar
1 t. chili powder
2 t. curry powder or curry paste
organic pureed tomatoes, packed in glass
a ladle-full of vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 C. jasmine rice
1 can coconut milk
½ bunch of fresh cilantro, or to taste
6-8 mini eggplant
wedge of lime
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
8 oz. plain chevre
Roll out the meatballs and place in a large cast iron skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides, then transfer to the bottom of your Crock-Pot, and set aside. In the same skillet, over low heat, melt the butter and scrape the pan cracklings into it as it melts. Fry the onion, garlic, and ginger in the butter and lamb fat, then add the chili powder, sugar, and curry paste. Heat for 3-5 minutes, until highly fragrant. Add the tomato puree, the ladle full of veggie stock, and some salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce over medium low heat until it begins to bubble. Ladle it into the Crock-Pot over the meatballs, and set the cooker to low heat. Allow this to slow cook for at least 2 hours.
When you’re ready to get dinner together, heat the grill. Wash the eggplants, and cut a wedge from their sides. Throw the wedges into the crock pot, or into your fridge for next week’s veggie stock. Squeeze a bit of lime juice on the eggplants, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Set aside to rest.
Place the rice in a saucepan. Dump the coconut milk into a measuring cup. Add water to the coconut milk until you get 2-1/2 C total liquid. Dump the coconut milk and water mixture on top of the rice. Set the heat on high, and stir well. As soon as the rice begins to boil, stir again, thoroughly, reduce the heat as low as it will go, and place a lid on the pot. Chop the cilantro. The rice will take roughly 18-20 minutes to cook. When it is done, remove it from the burner, fluff it with a fork, add a pinch of sea salt, and the chopped cilantro. Allow to rest while you finish the eggplant.
In a small bowl, combine the chevre and the jalapeno, some more lime juice, and some salt and pepper. Spoon this mixture into the eggplants. Don’t worry about piping it or being too tidy. It’s all going on the grill to become a delicious, bubbly mess, anyway. When all the eggplants are stuffed, transfer them as carefully as you can to the grill, keeping the open sides facing up. Grill until the cheese bubbles and the eggplants blister. It won’t take long.
When the eggplant is off the grill, you’re ready to eat. Spoon some rice on a plate, and ladle meatballs and sauce over top. Lay a couple of grilled eggplant over it and serve.