Grilled Lamb Chops with Sumac, Rose, and Spices
I’d choose lamb over chicken any day. And yet, I have not a single recipe for lamb on this blog. In all these years. You know why? Because I spend so much time and love making it and savoring it that it becomes like a private bedroom thing that I don’t want to write about. No, really.
Most Indian homes pressure cook their mutton/lamb to aid quick cooking–which is all good. But for me, lamb is sacred. It needs love. It needs attention. It needs time. One of my favorite ways to cook lamb curry is to marinate it for several hours and then cook it slowly, over a couple more. The resultant meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, juicy, and so flavorsome, it makes you forget how long you waited for it. Yesterday, I went and got me these lovely lamb chops. When asked if I intended to fry them, I nodded in the affirmative, half my attention with a mince-seeking toddler. Turned out to be a good thing, because then the butcher flattened the chops for me a bit by beating them down with his cleaver. Helped get an even chop to grill.
I just went by instinct, and what evolved was a beautifully tender and fragrant chop. Of course, my standard rule of letting it sit in the marinade for almost 24 hours had something to do with it, too. I think. Point is, try it.
- 8 lamb chops
- 1 tsp. Sumac
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seed powder
- 1 tsp. dried rose petals
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- salt to taste
- a small bunch of cilantro stalks, finely chopped
- juice of one orange
- 1/2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 1 tsp. honey
- Olive oil
- In a large resealable bag, place all the ingredients except the orange juice, chopped ginger, honey, olive oil, and some of the cilantro stalks.
- Massage everything together, seal the bag, and leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
- When you want to make the chops, bring the chops to room temperature about an hour in advance.
- Combine the orange juice, reserved cilantro stalks, honey, and about half a tsp. of live oil. This is the basting liquid which will prevent the chops from drying up as they cook. The honey will impart a lovely glaze, too.
- Heat your griddle or grill pan or other contraption of choice, and brush or spray some olive oil. Place the chops on the hot grill and cook on the first side for about 3 minutes. Turn, baste the side that’s up and cook for another 3 minutes. (Cooking time may vary more or less according to how you like your meat, the thickness of the chops, and the heat applied.)
- Remember to baste continuously. When cooked to your liking, take off the pan and allow to sit on the board for 2-3 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro.