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.
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.
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