Succulent, delicately frenched lamb chops smothered with the lipsmacking vindaloo marinade, pan fried and finished off with a dash of tomato sauce.
The perfect weekend starter!
For the vindaloo marinade:
(This makes more than the required amount; the rest can be frozen in batches and used whenever necessary)
1. 3 dried red chillies
2. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
3. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
4. 1 tsp black cardamom seeds
5. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
6. 5 cloves
7. 1 inch cinnamon bark
8. 10 black peppercorns
9. ½ tsp turmeric powder
10. 4 green chillies
11. 75ml vinegar (keep tasting so that you don’t go overboard)
12. 2 tbsp brown sugar
13. 5 garlic cloves
14. 1 inch ginger
For the lamb chops:
1. 8 lamb chops; cleaned and frenched
2. 3 tbsp vindaloo marinade
3. Salt, to season
4. 4 tbsp vegetable oil
5. 1-2 tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
6. 2 sprigs coriander leaves, for garnish
Making the marinade:
• Dry roast all the spices apart from turmeric powder until fragrant. Once cooled, grind the spices with the turmeric powder and blend to a fine powder. Add the chillies, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and ginger and blend until smooth (or if you have full faith in your blender like I do, then chuck the whole lot and grind it all with the vinegar). Add half the vinegar and grind, taste and add more vinegar as you go. If you think that the vinegar is enough, add a bit of water to grind the spices and aromatics to a fine consistency.
• In a nonreactive bowl, place the lamb chops and season with salt. Then add 1 heaped tbsp of the vindaloo marinade. Mix well to coat the lamb chops and marinate overnight or at least for 4-6 hours.
• Allow the lamb chops to come to room temperature before cooking.
• Heat oil in a large, flat pan; just as it reaches smoking hot place the lamb chops and sear on high heat for a minute. Turn over and sear the other side for another minute. Lower the heat and cook on both sides for another 2-3 minutes.
• Remove the lamb chops and keep aside. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of the vindaloo marinade and 1 tbsp tomato sauce, mix well on low heat. Taste and add more tomato sauce if necessary. After heating for a minute, add the lamb chops and mix well so that it gets evenly coated with the sauce. Allow to sit in the sauce mixture for a minute and remove.
• Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
• Lamb chops require very less time to cook. Avoid overcooking or the meat can get quite rubbery.
• Alternately, you can grill or oven cook the lamb chops and finish off in the sauce.