We were lucky enough to find some lamb chops whilst in the Cape, which is no small feat. They’re not much into lamb in the US, we find. Inspired by the recipe for Lamb Chops with Eggplant and Indian Spices from Fine Cooking’s August/September 2011 edition, Adam and I donned our aprons and dug in. We were attracted to the the Indian spice aspect of the recipe, particularly the eggplant vegetable medley.
I found the spices overwhelmed the lamb a little in the original recipe, so have reduced the quantities accordingly in this version. We also adjusted the method to incorporate double-cut lamb chops, as they are less liable to becoming overdone, something that so easily happens with regular 1″ thick lamb chops.
A full flavoured dish with lots of wonderfully spiced vegetables.
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
- 8 double-cut lamb chops
- 6 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 3/8 tsp cayenne
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 3/4 lb globe eggplants (2 medium or 4 small), unpeeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb chopped, seeded tomatoes (about 2 c)
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 c dry white wine
- Garam marsala, for serving
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350ºF or 325º convection.
- Toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Grind coarsely in a mortar or spice mill.
- Pat the lamb chops dry. Brush on both sides with the 2 tsp of olive oil, then sprinkle with a mix of 1 tsp of the ground seeds, 1/2 tsp of paprika and 1/4 tsp cayenne. Sprinkle with ground pepper and kosher salt. Set aside.
- Spread the eggplant on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 4 tbsp of the olive oil and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and toss again. Bake, turning once halfway through, until the eggplant is nearly tender and beginning to brown on the bottom (about 25 minutes). Set aside.
- In a 12″ skillet, sauté the red onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat (about 5 minutes). Stir in the remaining ground seeds, 1/2 tsp paprika and 1/8 tsp cayenne. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and eggplant. Stir to combine. Simmer until the eggplant is very tender and the flavours meld (about 10 minutes).
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil a large cast iron or other oven-proof skillet. Brown the lamb chops (about 2 minutes per side). Place the skillet in the oven for about 5 minutes for rare and a little longer for medium rare. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
- Add the shallots to the skillet used to cook the lamb chops and sauté until they start to soften (about 2 minutes). Add the wine and simmer until syrupy, scraping up any browned bits (about 3 minutes). Add the eggplant mixture to the skillet and simmer to blend, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the eggplant mixture beside the lamb on the platter and serve.
- We served this alongside couscous with golden raisins and pistachios and steamed green beans.
- Serving Size: 4