Pan Fried Lamb Chops with Harissa

Lamb chops are a favorite in my family and I am always looking for new ways to shine light on gamy tasing meat . Harissa , is a spicy  Middle Eastern condiment which , in this interpretaion includes store bought roasted red peppers , just a delicious addition . I always keep this sauce on hand to serve with other grilled meats and vegetables .

Tyler Florence

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Serves 4


1tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 small jar roasted red bell peppers , drained

2 garlic cloves

3 small fresh red chiles , chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

3 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

4 TBS extra virgin olive oil

12 fat lamb chops

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Gather the cumin , coriander and caraway in a small skillet and toast over low heat until fragrant . Then grind to a powder in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder . Put the roasted bell peppers into a food processor along with the ground spices , garlic , chiles , salt , olive oil and lemon juice and pulse to puree.

When ready to eat , heat 2 TBS olive oil in each of 2 large skillets over medium heat . Sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt and pepper . Put the chops in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side to brown . Serve chops with the Harissa.


Nargisi Kofta, eggs encased in lamb

Originally this recipe came from Mughal  Empire in India. It is a must have in our household and was part of my Mother’s buffet at high teas or more casual dinners. This is typically made with lean ground lamb , spices , lentils and ,ofcourse , eggs. These are really a spicy Scotch egg only far more flavorful. Serve it with green chutney or ketchup.

Monisha bharadwaj

1 1/2 lbs lean ground lamb

2 tsps ginger and garlic paste

2 tsp garam masala

3 tbs yellow gram lentils

salt , to taste

1 tsp chili powder

1 large egg , beaten

4 eggs , hard boiled and peeled

Oil for deep frying

Place the ground lamb , ginger garlic paste , garam masala , lentils , salt and chili in a pan . Add 2/3 cup water and cook until the meat and lentils are done, adding more water if necessary. Let all the water dry up. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Grind the mixture in a blender until fairly smooth. Stir in the beaten egg.

Completely coat each boiled egg with this mixture.

Heat the oil and , once it’s hot enough , gently lower in each coated egg.

Fry until golden , then remove using a slotted spoon. Cut each fried egg kofta in half with a sharp knife, then serve hot with ketchup.

Moroccan Kefta Kebabs

Street food is very popular in the Moroccan culture . Here vendors grill Sausage shaped spiced minced lamb , pulling them deftly into Moroccan bread and topped with fiery Harissa and tomato sauce. I personally love to top the “sandwich ” off with raw ,thinly sliced red onion and a few sprigs of parsley ,for color and freshness.This recipe was inspired by Tess Mallos.

1 small onion ,roughly chopped

2 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

1 tbs chopped cilantro

1 lb 2 oz minced lamb

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp salt

Lemon wedges for serving

Put onion ,parsley and coriander in the bowl of a food processor and process to a puree. Add lamb ,cumin , paprika , cayenne pepper , black pepper and salt . Process to a paste , scraping down the bowl as needed.

Divide the lamb mixture into 8 portions. With moistened hands form each portion into a sausage shape about 3 1/2 inches long. Chill.

Just before grilling  “flatten ” slightlyand push a skewer through. ( if the kebab is too rounded , the meat is likely to fall off the skerer. Grill on a hot grill till well browned about 10 minutes completly.

Serve the Kefta with small bowls of Lemon wedges and salad greens, also a small bowl of cumin mixed with salt to be sprinkled on as desired. If desired serve the kefta on Moroccan bread with a spicy tomato sauce ,sliced red onions and parsley.

Boti Kebab

It is funny how Indian cusine has so many kebabs, but believe me each is very different and so flavorful with toasted spices. Truely one of the tricks I learned early on in my mother’s kitchen was to toast and grind my spices as close to using as possible, believe it is makes all the difference to the final product. Here is another great recipe from Madhur Jaffrey .

1/2 lb of boned lamb leg, cut into 3/4 inch pieces

4 tablespoons plain yoghurt

11/2 tablespoons  lemon juice

1 inch piece, grated

1 clove garlic, grated

i teaspoon toasted ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayanne pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

11/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine the yoghurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cumin,coriander , cayanne and salt in a zip top bag. Add the cubed lanb. seal bag and massage the lamb . Refridgerate for 6-24 hours.

Preheat the broiler

Thread the meat on skewers. Balance the skewers on the rim of a baking in such a way that all the meat juices drip inside the tin. Brush the kebabs generously with oil and place the tray directly under the broiler.

Continue to broil till the lamb takes on color. Flip the kebabs, brush with oil and continue to broil till done.

Mum’s Lamb Kebabs

Growing up in Malta we had several parties at home. At every event, no matter what the theme and guest list these were hugely requested. Hope you enjoy them too.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1 lb ground lamb

1/2 small onion finely minced

2 garlic cloves minced

1″pieceginger minced

2 serrano chillis chopped finely

1 teaspoon garam masala *

1 teaspoon ground cumin*

1 tablespoon dried Methi crushed* or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon plain yoghurt

10-15 pieces roasted cashews ground or 1 tablespoon cashew butter*

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 egg yolk

* available in Indian Markets

Heat oil in a small saute pan. Add onions, chillis , ginger and garlic. Saute about 1 minute till no longer raw and some of the moisture from the onions evaporates. Cool.

Mix all the other ingredients into the grond lamb followed by the cooled onion mixture as well as the egg yolk. Mix to combine.

Keep a small bowl of vegetable oil in a bowl and grease palms with some. Take tablespoons of the lamb mixture and form small logs . Repeat till all the meat is used up.

Grill on a barbeque or roast in a hot oven for 7-10 minutes.

Serve hot with Mint chutney

These are great made the day before and grilled or frozen.