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Tandoori Chops

by Tim Hayward from The DIY Cook

Mouthwatering tandoori lamb chops from The DIY Cook. This Indian-inspired recipe, blending ginger, green chillies and spices, also works well with mutton.


If you’re not celebrating victory in battle or laying waste a neighbouring village, you might fancy something a little more modest. A very similar technique of marinating and crusting, when applied to small lamb or mutton chops, gives a meal with which you might perhaps celebrate completing the crossword quickly or being let off with a minor admonishment by a friendly traffic warden.

These chops would normally be finished to a dry crust in the ferocious heat of the tandoor oven, but I like the marinade so much that I use extra and only brown it lightly so it comes to the plate moist and a little like a sauce.

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2 thumbs of fresh ginger
8 cloves of garlic
4 green chillies (seeds removed)
2 tsp salt
1 lemon (juice and zest)
8 lamb or mutton chops
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp hot chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground turmeric
100g full-fat yoghurt
60 strands of saffron

Essential kit

You will need a blender.


Blitz the ginger, garlic, chillies and salt to a paste. Dilute with enough lemon juice to make it smearable.

Place the chops in a large bowl and slap on the paste, rubbing it well into the meat.

Combine the dry spices with the yoghurt and sprinkle in the saffron strands and lemon zest. The saffron will ‘leak’ into the yoghurt over time and, along with the zest, looks rather nice. Pour over the chops. Work the sauce into the meat until every chop has a good covering.

Cover with clingfilm and allow to sit for a few hours. There is no need to refrigerate.

Lay out the chops on a wire rack above a large roasting tin layered with foil to catch the juices.

Grill under a medium heat for 15 minutes, turning once, making sure that they become golden but do not blacken in too many spots.

Eat with your fingers while the chops are still hot enough to burn a little. Throw the bones to your favourite hunting dog.

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