Well, that’s not really true, is it? Because ‘easy lamb chops’ are ones that you just fry up in a pan with a slick of oil.
But sometimes you might want to do something a bit different, a bit interesting, or you might have something you want to use up.
In this instance, I had some black masala that was taking up fridge space in a jar far too large for its contents. Because the end of this story doesn’t really involve a recipe, I’m going to talk about the black masala.
The recipe comes from Anjum Anand’s Anjum’s New Indian (Amazon US, Amazon UK) and its combination of spices is just a little different. Because I knew I’d be keeping the spice mix for a while, I amended the recipe a little so here is what I did …
Heat a pan and dry fry 30g of dessicated coconut (it should be unsweetened). Fry until golden but watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn as then it will become bitter. Tip the golden coconut into a bowl and then dry fry 2 tbsp of sesame seeds (again, watch carefully) and add them to the coconut. And then do the same with 50g of coriander seeds.
With the pan on a low heat, add 1tsp of black peppercorns, 1 star anise, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 8 cloves, 2 cardamom pods, chilli flakes (to taste), 1/2 stick cinnamon and 2 bay leaves. Fry, stirring, until the cumin seeds start to change colour. Add to the coconut/sesame/coriander mix and leave to cool.
When cool, grind to a fine powder and store in an airtight container in the fridge, using as required.
Obviously, this is a great mix to use in curries but if you’ve not the time for that type of production … it works brilliantly mixed with some plain yoghurt and used as a marinade for those lamb chops. Mix it all up a couple of hours before you want to grill or bbq the chops and the meat will be succulent and tasty. If you happen to have some mint or basil to chop in it will be even better.
If you don’t happen to have black masala that needs using up … use a little left over curry paste, or, in desperation some chilli powder, turmeric and ground cumin. Basically, once you have the yoghurt the rest of the marinade is totally up to you …