I wish I could claim this one as my own, but alas, it is not. It is probably the best-selling menu item at the most popular Indian restaurant in Canada. If you’re in Vancouver, go to Vij’s and order it. And if you’re not, you can make it at home.
Succulent, charred lamb chops sit atop a creamy, insanely addictive curry. Chef Vikram Vij nailed it with the flavours in this one – grainy mustard, white wine, cream, lemon, lots of garlic, and fenugreek.
Fenugreek is a spice you may not have in your pantry if you don’t have an Indian husband and a little India 10 minutes away. But if you ever get your hands on it, the smell will be very familiar to you – to me, it’s the “curry” of curry powder. For that reason, go ahead and substitute curry powder for the fenugreek if you can’t find it.
I adapted the recipe just a bit – I had ground fenugreek powder, not the dried fenugreek leaves he calls for – but it worked beautifully. I used half-and-half because whoa that’s a lot of whipping cream, but for a special dinner party, go to town. I fully encourage you to get yourself a copy of Vij’s: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine , it’s a beautiful Indian cookbook I have used very frequently for years (case in point).
For lamb and marinade:
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup grainy mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 rack of lamb, cut between bones into chops (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 2 cups half-and-half (or whipping) cream
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne
- 2 tsp ground fenugreek (substitute curry powder if you can’t find it)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Whisk together wine, mustard, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Add lamb and turn to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
Meanwhile, whisk together cream, salt, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek and lemon juice. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and saute until golden. Add turmeric and saute 1 minute more. Stir in cream mixture and bring to a simmer.
Grill lamb chops (either on outdoor grill or indoor grill pan) over high heat for 6 minutes, flipping once half-way through. Ladel cream sauce into shallow bowls and top with lamb chops. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.