"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Recipes–Tandoori-style Grilled Lamb Chops

When I lived in India many years ago, my favorite place to eat was Moti Mahal, an open-air restaurant in the heart of Old Delhi.

The specialty was tandoori food – mutton (lamb) and chicken cooked in the tandoor, a deep clay oven heated by charcoal.  Meat cooked in this high-heat furnace comes out crispy, slightly charred, and with a smoky, rich flavor.  The meat is always marinated for at least a day prior to cooking, usually in a variety of Indian spices and yoghurt, then skewered and placed in the tandoor for quick cooking.  Naan, the yeasty bread typical of North India is also cooked in the tandoor and comes out puffed, fragrant and slightly browned.

My favorite dish was called barra kebab, pieces of marinated lamb or whole lamb chops cooked in the tandoor.  The pieces are charred, but succulent and never dry, and the taste of the spices, thanks to an all-day marinade, is rich and fragrant.

I bought lamb chops two day ago, and knew that I had to prepare them tonight or they would go bad.  I didn’t feel like the usual grilled or seared chops, so decided to try to approximate the barra kebab I had at Moti Mahal those many decades ago n India.  My taste memory was good, and the chops turned out better than I could have expected.  The best part is that the preparation and cooking took almost no time. The taste was authentic!!

Tandoori-style Grilled Lamb Chops

* 4 lg. lamb chops

* 1 Tbsp. ground cumin

* 1 Tbsp. Madras curry powder

* 1 Tbsp. garlic flakes

* 2 tsp.  honey

* 2 Tbsp. olive oil

* 5 grindings fresh black pepper

- Place all the spices in a mixing bowl and mix well

- Put the lamb chops in the mixture and rub thoroughly all over

- Let marinate for at least 8 hours, rubbing again after 4 hours (approx.)

- If you are broiling in an oven, place the chops on a broiling pan, and broil for about 10 minutes or until they are brown, slightly charred.  If you are using an outdoor grill, place the chops directly on the grill, and depending on the intensity of the coals,cook for 5-10 minutes on both sides

- When the chops are done, lightly salt, and serve-

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