1 pound lamb or beef
½ green bell pepper
¼ cup olive oil or meat fat
7 cups water
1¼ cup short-grain rice
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh green onions
Serves 12*. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.
* = This dish is meant for a large gathering. Feel free to cut all ingredients in two or in three.
Cut lamb and potatoes into ½” cubes. Put potato cubes in small bowl of water. Dice carrots, green bell peppers, and tomatoes. Slice onions into ¼” slices using mandoline or knife. Add lamb cubes and olive oil to Dutch oven. Sauté cubes for 5 minutes at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until they are completely browned. Stir enough to prevent burning.
Add carrot and green bell pepper, onion, and potato. Sauté cubes for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Stir in tomato. Bring to boil using high heat. Add water, rice, coriander, cumin, pepper, and salt. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir occasionally.
While soup simmers, mince cilantro and green onions. Garnish soup with cilantro and green onion. Goes well with sour cream or Greek yogurt.
1) This dish, Mastava, uses tomatoes.
2) Tomatoes are round.
3) This roundness explains the popularity of tomato bowling at amusement parks.
4) That and the fact that tomatoes go splat when they speed into the wooden bowling pins.
5) Do tomatoes enjoy disintegrating in tomato bowling?
6) No, not at all.
7) Do tomatoes relish being diced, minced, and pureed for culinary purposes?
8) No, no at all.
9) That is why they are trying to become more buff.
10) To the right is a tomato trying to build up its arm muscles by doing handstands.
11) This, of course, a fruitless endeavor. Tomatoes cannot do handstands. They do not have hands.
12) Nor even arms. Then how did it flip itself upside down? I have no idea, but let us applaud the effort.
13) It’s worth mentioning that tomatoes are quite territorial. This is why you don’t see other plants, bushes, or trees growing near tomatoes plants. The tomatoes don’t tolerate any intruders. They simply squash all comers.
14) Indeed, all kinds of produce are quite clannish and practice segregation. This is why you find only tomatoes with tomatoes, only bananas with bananas, and so on.
15) Yes, tomatoes remain discontented with their existence on Earth, just getting eaten and rubbing elbows with dirty potatoes and the like.
16) Which is why they want to leave Earth and find a new home on Mars, the Red Planet. Scientists pooh poohed this idea, ascribing the tomatoes’ goal as just idle talk.
17) Then one year ago to this very day that you’re reading this tidbt, the tomatoes mustered hitherto unsuspected resources and launched one of their kind into space. The photo to the right proves they succeeded.
Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.