Meatloaf is true comfort food at its best. But, come summer, you can liven it up with herbs and spices and lighten it up with freshly diced veggies. Suddenly, it becomes quite the exotic, dressed-up version of itself!
This recipe, passed-down by truly one of the best Indian cooks we know, is fabulous.
As a rule, we love make-ahead dishes and this one fits the bill perfectly. If you’re serving it as a main for a party, marinate the meat 2 days ahead and the spices will be richly complex.
The morning of, add the eggs, fresh cilantro, green onion, green pepper, tomatoes, mashed potato and garlic (all of which can be diced/mashed the day before). Cue up the oven about 1 1/2 hrs prior to your serving time and allow guests to enjoy the decadent aromas.
1.5-2.0 lbs of either ground chicken, ground beef or ground turkey
(You can mix any two meats as well)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper (you can substitute cayenne pepper but, red pepper found at an Indian store is preferable)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala (available at Indian, Asian and gourmet food stores)
1/3 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ginger/garlic paste (see quick tip below)
1 tbs friend onion (see quick tip below)
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
2 medium sized potatoes mashed thoroughly
1/2 tomato diced
2 cloves fresh garlic diced finely
3 green onions diced finely
1/3 of a green pepper diced
1/3 thai green chili de-seeded finely diced
Marinate meat for at least 5-6 hours (can be left for up to 48 hours well refrigerated) with salt, ginger/garlic paste, red pepper, turmeric, garam masala, cumin and coriander. Before baking add one egg, mashed potato, green onion, green pepper, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and chiles. Mix very well (preferably with your hands).
Bake for 45 minutes—1 hour at 350 degrees
Serve up and enjoy!
Quick Tip—Ginger-Garlic Paste:
Adu Lasan, (ginger-garlic paste) is an incredible tool in the kitchen, easy to make and stores well. Simply blend equal parts of chopped fresh ginger and chopped fresh garlic with just enough water to get a smooth consistency (see the picture below). Adu lasan is used for marinating any fresh meats. It’s super healthy, flavorful and can even be frozen in glass bottles for weeks.
Quick Tip—Fried Onions:
Fried onions are a base in cuisines the world over. For Indian cooking they are essential. We often make a big batch of friend onions every few months. Take the time to properly drain them. Lay them on paper towels to soak-up excess oil and when cooled completely, freeze them in small batches in mini ziplock bags. They are easy to defrost and pop into any dish.