Indian grilled lamb

Grilled lamb

What has happened to the the summer? The grass is growing fast and furiously, turning our table-sized lawn into a daunting savannah, the tomato plants are drowning and snails are sliding cheetah-like across slick stone, thumbing their noses at me as they head towards the vegetables snail canteen. I haven’t even bothered to assemble the BBQ. What a wash out.

It’s time to make a stand. If a griddle and a warm lamp is the closest I’m going to get to cooking outside, so be it. I have a vivid imagination when the occasion demands. Add some lamb and Indian spices and I can almost feel the Rajasthani heat beating down. Almost.

Indian spices
Indian spices

This is a gloriously quick dish to prepare. And while the marinating will make it taste better, it’s optional. The meat and spice still make a great combo.

If you can, try to get a cut of lamb with a little more fat running through it. Leg is lovely and lean but shoulder or loin/neck with their veins of white fat running through the meat makes for a beautifully moist and tasty mouthful. Neck in particular gives you exactly the right combination of fatty and tender, making it the best meat for kebabs or grills.

When it comes to spicing start with coriander and cumin seeds and build from there. These are both aromatic and warm spices with a preternatural affinity for lamb (and mutton). Fenugreek adds an almost undefinable but definitive flavour that is clearly South Asian. It’s one of those magical ingredients that places a dish geographically (like fish sauce for SE Asian food and miso for Japanese).

Grilling the lamb
Sizzling on the griddle

Grilled lamb
Feeds three or four with some sides

2 neck fillets of lamb chopped into six large pieces each
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic – squashed and chopped into a couple pieces each
Juice of one lemon

Put the seeds into a large pestle and mortar (or do them in two batches) and grind to a rough powder. Put the lamb in a bowl and glut in some oil. Add the spices, garlic and lemon juice and massage it all in with your hands. Cover with cling film and leave for one or two hours.

Remove the lamb form the marinade, and grill in a smoking hot griddle for about 3 minutes a side, until black stripes are seared into the lamb. Serve, eat and enjoy.

11 Responses to “Indian grilled lamb”

  1. Susan

    YES! Defy this stupid shitty paltry excuse for a summer! Defy the snails! Cook hot weather food! This sounds delicious — fenugreek is such a lovely meat spice. The blog redesign looks GREAT. Glad to see you’re posting again. Are you off to anywhere fun? Off to anywhere warm?

  2. Su-Lin

    Oh yeah. I’m definitely going to try this. I don’t use my grill enough.

  3. The Grubworm

    @Susan – i do, I DEFY it! I’ll be doing a great big sun-dance in the garden this weekend to bring the sun back. And bbq-ing, in the rain if that’s what it takes. Shaking my fist at the sky the whole time.

    And yes, sorry about the delay, i got really busy. Will try to be more regular now that things are settled down somewhat. As for holiday’s, nope, i’m off for a few weeks off in our new house. I have a new city to explore.

    @Su-Lin – do, it’s great on a griddle (would be even better on a bbq).

  4. Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine

    Looks lovely – griddling is a surefire way to pretend it’s summer – let’s pray these kind of recipes are a beacon to an Indian summer!

  5. The Grubworm

    @Vicky – it’s the next best thing to a proper charcoal bbq isn’t it? And it looks like the beacon worked.

  6. shuhan

    Looks like your adamant stance has turned the weather around. Bloody hot today, perfect weather for that delicious looking indian grilled lamb!

  7. The Grubworm

    @shuhan – being stubborn seemed to do the trick! It is great weather for this, I’m already planning to try out a bbq version

  8. Lizzie

    Summer is finally HEEEEERE! I will be busting this bad boy out on the BBQ.

  9. ChilliandMint

    Very much enjoyed reading your write up on Shangli – looks stunning and very atmospheric. Your living quarters look charming and I like the sound of the food. Ma po tofu is one of my absolute favourites. When I one day visit China I will try and find this place.

  10. ChilliandMint

    Oops sorry to post my Shangli comment in the wrong section, for some reason I bounced back to this page…which also looks great I might add ;o)

  11. The Grubworm

    No worries, and I’m glad you like the grilled lamb!

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