Sunday, September 21, 2014

Spiced Lamb Chops with a Fenugreek Sauce

One of the best parts about traveling to India was the opportunity to finally try authentic Indian food. It's long been a favourite of mine to cook (maybe you've noticed?), but having never traveled to India, it's always been a question in my mind of how close I was actually getting. I left India with a full and satisfied belly, a greater confidence in what I've been doing, and a craving for more Indian food. Unlike some of my colleagues, I know I can go for at least a month without tiring of the rich blend of spices.

As luck would have it, before I left, our meat CSA had given us 2 lbs of lamb loin chops. With all ingredients on hand, this seemed like the perfect recipe to highlight a welcome back from India. The rub on the lamb is full of rich smoky flavours and the fenugreek-cream sauce is rich and wonderful. This really is nothing like what I ate in India (I was in a mostly vegetarian region and the meat I did have was from long braises), but the flavours still capture the essence. Except for the marinade time, this is also a very quick meal. If you're using lamb loin chops and like your lamb a little less rare, you may want to cook longer.

One year ago: (Wedding hiatus!)
Two years ago: Puy lentils with sour cherries, bacon, and Gorgonzola
Three years ago: Sweet-and-sour red peppers
Four years ago: Tomato Galette

Spiced Lamb Chops with a Fenugreek Sauce (from 660 Curries)

2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tsp black cumin seeds, ground
seeds from 2 black cardamom pods, ground
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp coarse salt
1 lb rack of lamb, cut into chops (loin chops also work well)
2 tbsp mustard oil or canola oil
1 cup half-and half
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen fenugreek leaves
1/2 tsp Kashmiri garam masala

1. Combine ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander, cumin, black cumin, cardamom, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp salt in small bowl. Coat lamb chops with rub and refrigerate covered for 30 minutes to overnight.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb chops (with rub) to oil and sear each side until browned (2 minutes per side). Transfer to serving platter.
3. Pour half-and-half into skillet and bring to a simmer. Add fenugreek leaves, garam masala, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Simmer, stirring, until sauce thickens 2 - 4 minutes.
4. Pour sauce over chops and serve.

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