Total Calories: 611
1. Combine the lamb, coriander, salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl and stir to blend. Divide into 4 equal portions.
2. If using caul fat, lay the 4 pieces on a work surface. Place one portion of the lamb mixture on each piece and roll the caul fat around the meat to form a sausage about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Push a skewer into one end of each sausage. Carefully transfer the sausages to a plate, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
If making free-form satés, lightly oil a plate. Lightly wet your hands with cold water. Take a portion of lamb mixture and mold it onto a Popsicle stick to form a sausage-like kebab 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Place the satés on the prepared plate, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the grill to medium-high.
4. Make the marinade. Combine the Tamarind Water, sugar, and sweet soy sauce in a small nonreactive saucepan and boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Let cool completely. Pour half the mixture into one or more small bowls and set them aside for serving.
5. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Arrange the satés on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until the lamb is nicely browned and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes in all. Halfway through the cooking process, begin brushing the satés with the remaining tamarind sauce. Transfer the satés to a platter and brush one final time with tamarind sauce. Garnish the satés with the sliced cucumber and shallots. Serve the reserved sauce on the side for dipping.
Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as an entrée
Tamarind is the fruit of a tall tropical tree, a fava beannshaped pod filled with a fruity, orange-brown, sweet-sour pulp. The fruit takes its name from the Arabic words tamr hindi, literally "Indian date." Actually, tamarind tastes more like prune than date-prune mixed with lime juice and a drop of liquid smoke.
This distinctive sweet-sour flavor has endeared tamarind to cooks all along the world’s barbecue trail, from Asia to the Caribbean. You’ve probably tasted it, for tamarind is a key flavoring in Worcestershire sauce and A-1 steak sauce.
You can buy fresh tamarind pods in Caribbean and Asian markets. (Look for fleshy, heavy pods with cracked skins that reveal the sticky brown pulp inside tamarind with unbroken skins is underripe.) Peeling fresh tamarind is time consuming, so most ethnic markets and many supermarkets sell peeled tamarind pulp, which is quicker and easier to use.
Stringy and full of seeds, tamarind is rarely used in its natural state. The first step is to transform the sticky flesh into tamarind water, also known as tamarind purée. This is done by puréeing the pulp from peeled tamarind pods with boiling water.
If you live in an area with a large Hispanic community, you may be able to find frozen tamarind purée, which eliminates the need to make this recipe.
8 ounces tamarind pods (8 to 10 pods), or 1/2 cup peeled tamarind pulp
1 3/4 cups hot water
1. If using tamarind pods, peel the skin off with a paring knife. Break the pulp into 1-inch pieces and place in a blender with 1 cup of the hot water. Let the tamarind soften for 5 minutes.
2. Run the blender in short bursts at low speed for 15 to 30 seconds to obtain a thick brown liquid. Don’t overblend, or you’ll break up the seeds. Pour the resulting liquid through a strainer, pressing hard with a wooden spoon to extract the juices, scraping the underneath side of the strainer with a spatula.
3. Return the pulp in the strainer to the blender and add the remaining 3/4 cup hot water. Blend again and pour the mixture through the strainer, pressing well to extract the juices. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for several months (I like to freeze it in plastic ice-cube trays, so I have convenient pre-measured portions).
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Note: Indian markets sell plastic jars of smooth, dark, syrupy tamarind extract. This product has an interesting flavor, but you can’t use it to make tamarind water.
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