This is my version of a fantastic dish that I had in a restaurant called Vij's in Vancouver. He's got a website (www.vijs.ca) and he's probably one of the most creative Indian chefs in North America, using a slightly French style with traditional northern Indian recipes. All the chefs in the kitchen are ladies and they do such a fantastic job, so here's to you Vij's.
I love the idea of dipping a lamb chop into a sauce and then dipping it again to coat it in nuts followed by a zingy salad. It looks and smells fantastic!
When I spoke to the chap from Vij's, he said that the reason for marinating the meat in ginger and cumin was because they used mutton in India, and it was originally to get rid of the taste of the meat, but actually it's a great marinade.
Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
MethodLay the chops out, and massage in the ground cumin and the grated ginger and about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
Toast the almonds under a hot grill or in an oven until light brown. When cool, place in a plastic bag, squeeze all the air out of it, knot the end and smash with a rolling pin until the nuts are crushed. Keep to one side.
Heat a saucepan and toast the pepper, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom until a shade darker in colour. Remove and grind in a pestle and mortar.
Melt the butter in the hot pan and when sizzling, add the garlic, turmeric and onion. Cook for a few minutes until soft, then add the tomatoes and ground spices. Stew the tomatoes down before adding the yoghurt. Bring to the boil, stirring, and turn the heat down so that the yoghurt simmers gently. It will probably curdle a little, but don't worry, a blast from a hand blender will sort that out. Cook gently for about 20 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Season carefully with salt and turn the heat off.
When you're ready to serve, preheat a ridged griddle pan on a back ring of your cooker (it's safer). Season the lamb with salt and pepper, griddle for 1½ minutes each side or until cooked to medium. Quickly blend the sauce if it has curdled and serve with almonds, the shoot salad and some fluffy rice.