Rania Harris stopped by Pittsburgh Today Live to continue her culinary trip around the world. This week, Rania shows off some dishes inspired by Indian cuisine!

Lamb Vindaloo

  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • ¼ star anise
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2¼ inch piece of ginger (peeled)
  • 6 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions – chopped
  • 1½ pounds lamb loin – cubed
  • Palm sugar to taste
  • 15 curry leaves


Grind all of the spices, garlic, ginger and tamarind with the vinegar to make a smooth paste. Rub a little of the spice mixture on the lamb and marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a sauté skillet and sauté the onions until golden brown. Add the spice paste mix and cook for about 5 minutes, to infuse the flavors, adding 2 tablespoons of water, if necessary.

Add the lamb cubes and sauté for 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of water and season with salt to taste. Cook over low heat until tender. Stir in the curry leaves and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.

Spice mixture can be made ahead and kept frozen until ready to use. The vindaloo can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Serves: 4

Basmati Rice Pilaf

  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 wide strips lemon zest
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (an Indian spice blend)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup basmati rice, lightly rinsed and drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup toasted cashews
  • ¼ cup dried cherries


Put the apricots and lemon zest in the 2 cups of cold water. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the garam masala, and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the water along with the apricots, lemon zest, the 1 teaspoon salt, and coarse black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, wrap a clean dish towel around the saucepan lid, and cover saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes, set aside for 5 minutes undisturbed. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Add in the mint leaves, cashews and dried cherries. Mound the pilaf on a serving platter and serve immediately with the Lamb Vindaloo.

Serves: 4

Green Chutney

  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 Serrano chiles – chopped
  • ½ small onion – chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice


Puree all of the ingredients except for the lime juice. Add the lime juice and stir well.


  • 1 quart Greek yogurt
  • 1 English Cucumber – peeled – seeded – chopped and blotted dry
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste.

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