After the success of Saturday night’s Indian, I wanted more… And having a gorgeous lot of lamb cutlets from the amazing Vic’s Meat (if you haven’t been, you simply must go to their Market Day on Saturdays between 8am and 12pm) I decided to attack the Punjabi Masala Chop recipe in Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape.
This was utterly delicious and authentic tasting, far better than any Indian spice paste or sauce you get from a jar. The heat in this dish is rather intense, so be warned! The flavour is so densely packed into every bite that I recommend balancing it out with some plain basmati rice, and whip up some naan for dipping. The chilled rosé was a perfect match for this crazy, hot dish. This lamb is definitely going to become part of my regular food arsenal.
- 8 lamb chops
- 3cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder
- 800g chopped plum tomatoes (I used diced roma and it worked really well)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 450ml natural yogurt (I used a fraction less for a hotter result)
- coriander leaves, to garnish
- Put the ginger, garlic, chilli and a tablespoon or two of water in a food processor or blender and blitz to a wet paste. I did it the old fashioned way in a mortar and pestle. I find the elbow grease adds extra flavour.
- Trim off any excess fat from around the chops, leaving on a thin, even layer and season well. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wide, heavy-based pan and when you can feel a strong heat rising, add the lamb chops and fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly browned all over. Remove the chops from the pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the onions, garam masala, cumin, cayenne pepper and chilli powder. Stir well and sauté gently for 3-4 minutes or until the onions have softened slightly and the spices are fragrant.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste and cok for another couple of minutes. Increase the heat and add the browned chops, tomatoes, lemon juice and salt. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 50-60 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce thick. Over a low heat, gradually stir in the yogurt and simmer for a few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Arrange the chops on a warm platter and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve immediately with warm breads or basmati rice, or if you’re not a carb-o-phobe, both.