Indian – Spiced Lamb Chops
Lamb Chops, laden with lip-zinging spice and oozing with sweet,greasy fat are one of the main reasons I go to Curryhouses. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for Curry – but these little morsels are the thing I really look forward to – n0; crave – in the hours leading up to the meal.
So, I’ve spent years trying to recreate the taste at home. Of course, this is nigh on impossible without a barbecue, because you don’t get that blackened, woody char that is required of really good spiced lamb chops. Even a griddle pan doesn’t quite do it. What you can do, however, is come up with perfectly passable, tender, spicy meat that’s perfect finger food and a meal in itself if you make enough of them.
It’s really all about the spices. There are as many combinations of spice mix as people making it, so here’s mine. Firstly, marination is the key. You’ve got get those spices into the meat. So, put your chops (feel free to bat out and tenderise first) in a large bowl and add: a little oil (Groundnut is good), a generous dollop of Tomato puree, Ground Black Pepper, Fenugreek, Garam Masala, Fresh Coriander, 4 cloves of Garlic, 2 chopped fresh Chillies (or dried chilli flakes), a pinch of Garlic salt, chopped fresh Coriander ,a pinch of Celery Salt, Cumin and Turmeric.
I also add a large pinch of a spice mix that was bought for me called Panch Phoran. It’s really good and worth tracking down. Wikipedia says it’s a blend of Fenugreek, Nigella, Cumin Seed, Radhuni and Celery Seed. If there was one ingredient I would recommend you definitely use its Fenugreek – so underrated in these sorts of dishes yet really make a difference.
You’ll note I’ve not provided exact measurements. This is simply because you should make whatever is to your taste. This is the blend that I use, but if you want more garlic and less chilli, go for it. Anyway, rub all the spices into the lamb – brutally – and cover in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
To cook, simply grill in a hot, hot grill for about five minutes on each side. You want the meat ever-so-slightly pink. Your kitchen will smell awesome for days and you’ll find it nigh on impossible to eat these without a smile on your face.
To drink, I plumped for a Dark Bohemia Regent (4.4%abv). Although not the most complex of Dark Lagers on its own, I find that it can be chilled down nicely, yet still retains some caramel/roasted notes. That plum-black, mollasses-led heart of the beer works really well with the spices, and offer something a little more than just dousing the flames of raw chilli that Pale Ales and Lagers sometimes do. Dark beers and red-meat curries are a really good match – give it a try!