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  • Lamb Chops – Indian Style

    Posted on | April 1, 2007 | 36 Comments |

    Grilling lamb chops is very easy; make a nice marinade, marinate the meat for a few hours, fire up the grill, place the marinated chops, cook one side, turn once, cook the other side, let it rest for a while and delicious lamb chops are ready to serve!  Making an Indian style lamb chops is much more work, since the whole cooking process is done stovetop, and there are several steps to the process. But the end result is so different from the grilled chops you would find in any restaurant around here, it is totally worth the effort. 

    In India, there was no concept of different cuts of meat, at least not where I grew up. The butcher cuts up the whole animal into shapeless pieces, you wouldn’t know by looking at the meat where it came from. Only after coming to the U.S. of A that I learned the difference between various parts of the animal body, and how each cut differ in flavor and tenderness and would require different cooking techniques. Most meat recipes you would find in Indian cookbooks wouldn’t tell you which part of the meat to use, except may be whether to use meat with or without bones. I’ve tried various Indian recipes with the lamb chops and finally settled on one I like for the rib chops.

    This particular recipe is based on a mutton recipe from my Kerala cookbook bible – Flavours of the Spice Coast by Mrs. K.M. Mathew.  This colorful book with beautiful mouthwatering pictures accompanying simple traditional Kerala recipes is my most used cookbook.  I’ve learned most of my basic techniques from this book, and given out copies to lots of friends. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn to cook authentic Kerala dishes, just the way our mothers would make them.  (BTW Amazon lists it for ~$75, that is way too overprized, I got it from India for about $25.)

    Anyway, here is the recipe.


    • 8 lamb rib chops
    • 5 cardamom pods
    • 3 cloves
    • 1″ cinnamon stick
    • 1 large onion finely chopped
    • 1 bunch curry leaves
    • 1 tsp ginger paste
    • 1 tsp garlic paste
    • 1 tsp red chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1/4 tsp garam masala
    • salt to taste
    • 1.5 tbsp oil


    In a large pan, cook the lamb chops with 1 cup water, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and salt. When the lamb is half cooked, remove the chops and keep aside. Remove the spices and reserve the stock.

    Wipe the pan clean and return to the stove. Heat oil and add the chopped onions and curry leaves. Fry the onions till they start to brown.

    Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and fry to a golden color.

    Mix red chili powder, black pepper powder and turmeric powder with a little bit of water to make a paste. Add the spice paste to the pan and saute on low heat till the spices are fried well.

    Add the drained lamb chops to the pan, and mix well till both sides are coated with the onion and spice mixture. Be very careful while mixing so as not to break the chops. Cook on medium till the meat is browned on both sides.

    Add the reserved stock and the lime juice to the pan. Reduce the heat, close the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes.

    After 10 minutes, remove the lid, sprinkle the garam masala and cook on high heat till all the water is completely absorbed.

    Serve hot.


    The chops will be well coated with gravy. If you are serving this to guests, you might want to wipe the end bones clean with a damp towel.

    A yogurt dipping sauce or raitha will nicely offset the heat of this dish.

    For a complete meal, make a simple mixed leaves salad with a light dressing, and serve the chops on the salad.


    Category: Good with Drinks, India - Kerala, Lamb or Goat, Mains, Recipes

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    36 Responses to “Lamb Chops – Indian Style”

    1. Mishmash !
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 1:02 am

      Siggggg..i dont want to say u re cruel but u re making me !! Thats the most glamorous lamb chops I have ever seen :) )


    2. Reena
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 1:42 am

      sig!!! the lamp chops look scrumptious.

    3. Meeta
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 6:04 am

      WOW! It’s breakfast time here in Germany but man could I dig into your chops baby! ;-) They look and sound incredible.

    4. sunita's world
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 8:21 am

      Sig…those lamb chops look really scrummy…wish I could have some…

    5. Asha
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

      WOW!! Those Chops look good Sig!All dressed up and ready to go!:)

    6. Freya and Paul
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

      These chops look so delicious and sticky with sauce!

    7. Sheela
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 7:18 pm

      hey sig, don’t answer if you don’t want to trade secrets (i perfectly understand), but, your photos are looking nicer these days: do you have any tips to share? (other than crop and add text, i rarely muck around with image software as I haven’t found much success…)

    8. Sig
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

      Sheela, I used a perfectly white plate and a white background for the lambchops and used photoshop to remove some of the background noice. This is my first photoshop attempt though, haven’t done any digital fixes on the other pictures, just tried out different angles and cropped out to showcase just the food. More food I photograph, I am getting a better sense of what looks good, but still it is a really tough process, I am learning through practice.

    9. Sig
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 8:36 pm

      Sheela, forgot to add, I use the Sharpen feature in Windows Live Writer(my blog editor software) to sharpen some of the pictures.

    10. Prema Sundar
      April 2nd, 2007 @ 9:48 pm

      OOOh Wish I could have a plate of these.. looks very inviting.

    11. Sig
      April 3rd, 2007 @ 5:43 am

      Shn, glamorous was exactly what I was going for :D
      Thanks everyone for your lovely comments, your kind words always brighten up my day.

    12. ros
      April 3rd, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

      That’s an interesting point you made about how different cuts of meat aren’t really distinguished in India. Judging by how my parents cook, it is the same in Sri Lanka. Stewing mutton and lamb fillet all get thrown in the pan and cooked the same way.

      The great thing is, now the world is getting more cosmopolitan, we can have the best of all cultures, as this dish demonstrates. You get that wonderful spicing from Indian cuisine combined with the appreciation for how to cook different cuts of meat that you find in European cuisine. You can’t go wrong with that combination and I’m also trying to work to into the Sri Lankan dishes I grew up with.

      Also, I agree with the others. That is an excellent photo.

    13. Michelle, Maltese Bacon
      April 3rd, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

      I will have to try and make those, they look amazing.yra

    14. Sheela
      April 4th, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

      sig, thanks for sharing your photo composition and editing tips! you are right: practise helps; and good lighting; good styling too… gawd, there’s so much to learn :-)

      p.s: i keep debating whether styled food photographs take away from the earthiness of sharing the recipes that excites and unites the food-blogging community… on the other hand, i drool over good food photos! hm. toughie.

    15. Pravs
      April 6th, 2007 @ 1:44 am

      Hey sig, can you tell me the trick to take such perfect pic shot ? Looks very appetizing !

    16. Lotus Reads
      April 6th, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

      Oooooh, I own this book (Flavours of the Spice Coast )too but I have never tried any of the recipes therein! I am glad it has received such a ringing endorsement from you, I’ll be very happy to give some of her recipes a shot now. Can you name me a few of the other recipes in her book that you tried and liked? Thanks so much!!!

    17. Sig
      April 7th, 2007 @ 6:20 am

      Lotus, you have this book and those pictures didn’t entice you to try any recipe yet?????? I can’t believe that!!!! :)
      I’ve tried most of the non-veg dishes. My favorites are mutton chops, mutton kurma, meat oolarthiyahtu, chicken piralen, Mean Pollichathu, Masala Pomphret(I use Tilapia, hate pomphret) and Prawn Oolarthiyathu. My non-Indian friend always makes the egg curry from the book and gets lots of kudos on it, I haven’t tried it yet, but she swears by it. Hope you try the recipes, I’ve never had a bad experience with any of the dishes :)

    18. Mona
      July 12th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

      Hmmmmm, they looked attrective in the pic, when i had them,li they were even more delicious :-)

    19. Anonymous
      August 5th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

      Thanks for this awesome recipe. Until now, I didn’t know which part of lamb to use to substitute for the mutton curries and other mutton preparations and even asked many mallu bloggers….but I got the answer here from you. I’m impressed. Thanks and Very good! will try this recipe out and let you know very soon.

      Thanks again.

    20. Bindu
      October 5th, 2008 @ 11:20 am

      Hi there,
      I recently bought some lamb chops as my husband declared he would love some.But the only problem was that I had never attempted to try my hand at cooking lamb.So I took this brave step of looking online hoping to stumble upon a tasty and easy recipe and thought I hit the jackpot when I found your recipe.Thanks a million for sharing your ideas with us.
      PS:I am a big fan of MRS K M Mathews’s recipes,so I know this is going to be good.

    21. TOMSON
      October 10th, 2008 @ 1:31 pm


    22. jayjay
      May 14th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

      I was wondering about the powder. Since I’m in the US and I’m an indian, it’s hard for me to find any of the indian brand powder. Like what brand do you use? or do you just use the ones you can get from wal-mart?

    23. Richa
      August 12th, 2009 @ 10:49 am

      Simple ingredients and Terrific taste! Keep posting such great recipes!

    24. sherin
      August 20th, 2009 @ 7:09 am

      Can you please email me & tell me where did you buy the book from india?

    25. Sanjay
      February 7th, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

      Tried it tonight. Worked out beautifully. Plenty of onions make the glaze what it is. Thank you for a simple and delicious recipe.

      (I’m thinking next time I might skip the boiling step. Instead, I’ll try sputtering the खडे मसले straightaway in the oil before throwing in the curry leaves and onion. True, I’ll be missing the stock. But perhaps using chicken or beef stock instead might do it.)

    26. musarat
      March 5th, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

      Thank you for this recipe. i made it for my husband and it was lovely. he really enjoyed it so thank you.

    27. ani
      July 10th, 2010 @ 5:12 am

      I am sharing my experiences in India and out of India with lamb and goat .

      I have never read any recipe books [I don’t read my profession book how can I read recipe books J]. My knowledge from Mum than MIL now my wife, only when required and doubts clarification I go online, and its worked and its more of discussions with friends and the different hotels I have stayed in India [Bihar kerala Karnataka Andhra Delhi…..Goa…..] than the usa Japan and now Australia.

      To cook a great lamb chops [out of India] or Goat chops [India];

      1>The meat has to be gr8. All star or luxury hotels where they charge the lamb dish 300$ + , the meat is not from the normal lambs but its from specially bred lambs fed on special grass or food etc….I can write a book on this subject…and the meat is specially ordered.
      2>The Recipe or ingredients to go with the type of meat.

      I am stressing on point 1 coz it’s very important I have bought the wrong meat[Cheaper price out of India and wrong places in India] and have stuffed the dish;

      I remember, when for the first time I went to buy pomprehet Fish (The least fishy smelling fish I have encountered and good for people who don’t like the fishy smell) I bought a black pomprehet instead of the white pomprehet and when my mom cooked the taste differed and I asked Dad why its different taste, he told me you got the wrong one’s I said what !! at that time I came to know there are 2 types of pomrehets, only people who can differentiate the taste between the 2 and love taste can understand the difference else you want’s for People who eat Beef wont make difference because the beef smells too, but for an Indian lamb eating only person the smell makes lot of difference, BTW I eat everything on earth, to enjoy Taste like I can eat beaf only in steaks [outbacks] and not a beef biryani[smell of beaf meat] or can enjoy beaf samosa made by Naaz in pune.

      When I moved out of India, I really struggled to cope with the different taste in Goat and lamb, The smell in them even today drives me crazy this never happened to me in India, but even in India you need to find the right place to buy the stuff.
      I am from Belgaum/Kolhapur area where the Goat and Goat meat is at its best once again the Grass and food they eat, even in India when I moved to another place out of Belgaum/Kolapur I used to struggle in each of the town to find the right meat.

      Out of India it’s all standardized the more you pay the better quality you get and its straight.

      In any dish I prepare the lamb or goat has to be half cooked by steam I use pressure cooker it’s cooked half than the making of cuts in them for the masala to seep through but I don’t keep the stock just throw away coz that smells that the only difference in India and out of India [keep the stock].

      Now to cook you have different ways;
      1>I prefer pressure cooker coz it reached 250 Deg Far and cooks from inside. But there are other factors and lots of secrets to ensure the meat does not get rubbery I can write another blog on it …its practice, heat temp and chemistry of lamb meat J

      2>Normal or Dum cooking you can use water with ghee (increase the boiling point) do not use only water.

      Temperature and Heat
      In Cooking Temperature and heat are very important another thing easy for me coz I am a chemical engg by qualification so use the principle a lot on cooking and helps.

      Chemistry[breaking connective tissue]
      Also you have other things. …Marination to make the meat soft if you have time do it …use papaya for Red meat and yoghurt for white meat. How to use it another blog J


      Yada yada yada

      My struggle to find the right lamb and right vendor has finally ended for me in Australia. Another thing kids are the best Taste deciders their taste buds can distinguish between tasty and not tasty very easily.

      Also out of India most of the units have electric cooking and no gas than its more difficult to make such dishes coz you need to play with heat in cooking quick slow ,fast ad medium.

      The more u think the less it is; life is R&D
      I have made Dum Mutton biryani [Layered] 23 time have flopped 7 times J and optimistic on the 24th one

      Best place for food in India is Hyderabad that’s my experience money wise quality wise.

      Above are my experiences and tips if you have any pl share with me that will be my greatest pleasure after spending one hour and writing above crap,

      Regards, Aniruddha

    28. ani
      July 10th, 2010 @ 5:28 am

      My job on lamb prepartion ends after steam cooking ; my wife takes over from there her masala her receipe and its just mouth watering,
      BTW She uses Lady chiseld potato with the dry lamb chops she prepares .
      Potatos goes very well with lamb which i learned after my stay in calcutta, likewise I learned there can be a kheema;minced meet dosa which I learnt in kerala and chennai.


    29. How to control Un controlled Ejaculation
      September 8th, 2011 @ 8:50 am

      Normally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice post.

    30. kalaivani
      October 29th, 2011 @ 7:27 am

      Tried it twice.. and it turned out excellent! It is so difficult to get a recipe that results in great food… u have got the best!

    31. Rosaline Cooperider
      February 24th, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

      Hello – My mother and I really enjoy the lengthy effort you have put into this site. Actually, my mom and I have also been creating a site covering exotic fruits such as the acai berry. Your site’s theme has been a great help for our own site. Keep up the amazing work! Looking forward to seeing more updates from you! I just added this blog to my own favorites. :)

    32. Aysha
      August 9th, 2012 @ 12:29 am

      Could anyone please tell me where i can get lamb chops in Trivandrum???