Thursday, January 06, 2011

Curried Gyros with Raita

I want to let you know here and now this is a meal I decided to make using leftovers. After Saturday's roast I was left with a nice helping of cooked Lamb meat. And today, while complaining at work about the leftovers I had, a coworker of mine Doris, suggested I make something out of them. Thanks Doris, it's because of you I decided to make these delicious curried gyros! 

A little history about the gyro, it comes from Greece, and is traditionally made with onions, lamb and pita bread topped with a yogurt sauce and fresh tomatoes. Some variations even add fried potatoes to the gyro stuffing. Since I used leftovers the meal only took about 30 minutes to prepare. I decided to take my heritage and mix it in with the gyro hence the curry and the raita sauce.  The fusion of these two cultures of food melded together very well and the meal was delicious!

Serves 2
You will need one Serrano pepper and seven cloves of garlic. Slice the pepper into smaller pieces and peel the garlic.

Place the chili pieces, the garlic and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and freshly cracked pepper in a food processor with 1/4 cup of water and pulse until a thick paste forms.

Set aside, you will use this paste for both the raita and the meat.

Meanwhile you will need one large carrot and one large cucumber.

Peel the cucumber and the carrot and set aside.

You will need a box grater, place it inside of an open flat dish.

Grate the cucumber into the dish on the finest grating side.

Set the grated mixture aside with its natural juices.

In another dish, on the same side of the grater, grate the large carrot and set aside.

Take the cucumber and with your hands squeeze out all of the juices and place the grated cucumber in a mixing bowl with the carrot.

Be sure to squeeze out every last drop of juice from the grated cucumber. 

This will ensure that your Raita does not become too runny later.

Add in one teaspoon of the garlic chili paste.

Add in 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin powder. 

Add in 2 cups of plain yogurt.

 I used Greek yogurt for fun but any kind of plain yogurt will do the trick.

Mix all the ingredients together well.

Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerate the sauce until you are ready to assemble your gyros.

Cube your left over meat of choice into 1-inch cubes.

You can use chicken, lamb, turkey, etc. whatever you fancy :)

 Coat a nonstick skillet with vegetable oil and heat. Once hot add in a pinch of cumin seeds, mustard seeds and  fenugreek seeds. Next add in about 1/4 of a large sliced onion. 
Cook until tender.

Add in the remaining garlic chili paste and stir to combine.

Add in one teaspoon of mixed curry powder. 

Remember most curry powder is not sold mixed, so you will have to do this yourself. 
Refer to the Chicken Curry recipe for instructions on how to mix your own powder.

Mix all ingredients together. 
If the mixture is too dry add in about 1/4 cup of water to create a curry paste.

Add in the meat pieces, mix together well and cook for about ten minutes on medium/low heat to let the meat absorb all of the curry flavor. Set meat aside when done.

 Cube 2 tomatoes. 

I like large cubes for gyros it helps give a nice rustic look!

You will need plain Pita Bread for your gyros.

In a toaster warm up four pita halves. Use the lowest setting available.

 You may want to keep an eye on the toaster just to make sure that the pita bread does not burn.

Once the bread is warmed up you can begin to assemble your gyro. 
First add the meat to the pita.

Next top with the cubed tomatoes.

And finally, top with the fresh Raita and serve.

The second gyro I made I decided to add the meat, then the Raita and top with the tomatoes. The flavor of the Raita balances out the spice of the curry very well. How do you gyro??

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