Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew with Carrots and Potatoes)

When I think of Basilla, I think of my husband’s favourite childhood comfort food that not only nourishes you, but also feeds your soul.  So there are two traditional ways of making this dish, one is as a stew and the other is as a rice dish.  The ingredients used are exactly the same, except for the tomatoes used in the stew, and the execution is different.  Today, I will be sharing the stew version recipe but I promise to follow up with the rice based dish version.  Hope you enjoy this recipe, sahtein!

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Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew with Carrots and Potatoes)

February 28, 2016

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Yields: 4

Ingredients

500g low-fat lamb cubes, cut into small pieces

3 small onions, chopped into small cubes

3 cups frozen peas

2 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped into small cubes

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes

1 bay leaf

3 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garam masala powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

500ml tomato puree

2 - 3 cups of water

1 tsp. vegetable oil

Directions

1In a medium sized cast-iron pot and on high heat sauté onions with vegetable oil until translucent. I prefer using caste iron pots because I don’t loose the texture or shape of my vegetables, even if it has been cooking on the fire for a long period of time - plus I find food just tastes better.

2Add the lamb cubes and bay leaf, sauté until the meat is browned.

3Once the lamb has been browned season the meat with salt, pepper, garam masala and cinnamon.

4Add the carrots, potatoes, peas and tomato puree and water. Lower the heat and allow the ingredients to cook together on a low heat for about half an hour.

5Serve with brown rice.

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Note: If you are going to use a regular pot, the lamb will not as tender as it would be in a caste-iron pot. Alternatively, you can use a pressure cooker, the steps for the recipe alter a little bit. Find below the recipe when using a pressure cooke

  1. In a medium sized pressure cooker sauté onions with vegetable oil on high heat until translucent.
  2. Add the lamb cubes and bay leaf; stir the meat until it has browned. This process should not take more than 5 minutes since your fire should be around medium-high.
  3. Once the lamb has been browned season the meat with salt, pepper, garam masala and cinnamon. Add water and cover the pressure cooker for about 20 minutes, and allow the meat to cook on medium heat. This process speeds up the cooking time of the dish.
  4. Once you start hearing the pressure cooker whistling, turn off the heat and release the air pressure from the pot. Only after all the pressure has been released from the pot is it safe to open the lid.
  5. Some of the more savvy pressure cookers have creative safely mechanisms that won’t allow you to open the pot till all the pressure is released.
  6. Add the carrots, potatoes, peas and tomato puree. Cover the pressure cooker again with the lid, and fasten. Lower the heat and allow the ingredients to cook together on a low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Dish will be ready to serve.