Indian Spiced Lamb Chops With Saffron & Nuts Rice

Las Vegas is more than poker and black jack.Its a city which was my doorway to the best cuisines of the world.With all kinds of dining options scattered around the city, I have experimented a lot..a lot with my taste buds.From fine dining to fast food corners to the famous Las Vegas buffets, there’s hardly a meal which fails to inspire me.This recipe is also one of those which clicked last Sunday while we were eating buffet at one of the Vegas casinos.

When I saw P getting up for a third serving of roasted lamb there, I could not control but ask.I tell you,he is not someone who wants to eat non vegetarian food everyday or chooses it over vegetarian food often.He enjoys chicken immensely but he’s not very crazy over red meat.If a lamb roast is keeping him busy for more than 20 minutes,I was curious..very curious.I tasted a portion, it was slightly on the dry side but the flavors were mostly moroccan [ lots of tang from lemon & black pepper] hints of indian spices.It was flavorful..there was certainly addictive thing about the rub.

For next four days straight, P chanted the name of that roasted lamb at dinner time,we discussed and discussed, what could be the spice blend, did they grill it or broil it or slow roasted it, were the chops roasted individually or the whole rack,how long would they have marinated it etc..Trust me a guy who is so disinterested  in cooking  & ignorant about ingredients that sometimes he accidentally puts vanilla extract in his soup thinking it is soya sauce, I was taken by a storm of astonishment at how keen he was about giving the thing a try at home from what we remembered.On Thursday night, the excitement got so much that we landed at Whole foods after 9:30 in the night.He wanted to use the best ingredients aka organic rack of lamb & one which is less fatty and no smell and heck!

I have seen mom cook AMAZING lamb chops since childhood,in fact she makes the best lamb chops in the world :) I had never dealt with a rack of lamb.I worked on the same foot steps as her, the long hours of marination and cooking in oven instead of stove top and trust me that not only did this recipe came very close to what we ate at the buffet, this also summed up as one of my best summer recipes of dry lamb preparations..Try it..its very easy to make, full of indian flavors,the meat comes out succulent and loaded with flavor..two key ingredients in the recipe are freshly ground black pepper & fresh lime juice..both go along very well with lamb – the meat is tender,the rub is on the spicier side which goes along well with easy saffron rice that I served it with.Below goes the recipe for both:-

Printable Recipe

A note from simply recipes which I found really useful & thought of including :- The cooking time depends on how big your rack of lamb is, and how rare you want it cooked. Rack of lamb should be cooked rare, or at most medium rare.The instructions are for a rack  weighing 1.5- 2 lb. If you have a smaller roast,reduce the cooking time from 8 minutes to 5 minutes on 400, and use the lower end of the cooking time. If you are cooking multiple racks (unless you are doing a crown roast which is a different matter), lay them out separately on the pan, and estimate a roasting time based on just one rack, not the weight of the combined.

For the Indian Style Lamb Chops:- [Can be used for mutton/beef/pork]


  • Rack of lamb [Mine weighed between 1.5- 2 lb]
  • 2 tbsp mustard/olive/canola oil [ for brushing]
  • chopped cilantro for garnish [optional]

For the Marinade:-

  • 3 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds,coarsely ground
  • 1 tbsp red chilli pepper flakes [Adjust to taste]
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients of the marinade in a shallow but big enough dish to hold the rack.Rub the marinade thoroughly on all sides of the rack well, cover the dish with a cling film and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 – 18  hours.I let mine sit in the fridge overnight.The longer the rack sits, the better.
Take out the rack at least 1 hour prior to cooking.Using a sharp knife,make shallow incisions in the fat side of the rack about 1″ apart.Brush oil thoroughly on all sides.Transfer the rack bone side down to the baking dish/cast iron skillet.Broil for 5-6 minutes on each side.This will give the rack a charred look.
Preheat oven to 400 F next.Pour the marinade if any into the baking dish.Roast the lamb rack for 8 minutes, then lower the heat to 350.Cook for 5-15 minutes or longer (depending on the size of the lamb rack or how rare /medium-rare you want them to be) I personally don’t use a thermometer & go by approximation.The way we like them, it takes about 14 minutes of cooking.Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Brush with the drippings in the baking pan or deglaze the baking pan with some stock to make a sauce & serve warm with saffron rice

For the Saffron Rice [Serves 2-3]

  • 1 cup Basamati Rice
  • 2 cups of water for cooking the rice [ depends on rice type/quality you use, see package instructions]
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 tsp saffron dissolved with 2 tbsp warm milk
  • Nuts & raisins [optional, I used 1/4 cup each of raw cashews and silvered almonds]
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp of ghee [ clarified butter]
  • Chopped Cilantro for serving

Method: Pick the rice and wash it thoroughly in a flowing stream of water 2-3 times.Once washed, soak the rice in water [ 2 cups in my case] for 1 hour. In a deep, heavy bottomed pot with lid, add ghee and let it warm on low heat.Once warm add the cloves to the pot and let crackle- about 30 secs.Add the nuts next and cook for another 20 seconds till they are light brown.Add the soaked rice along with water, saffron dissolved in warm milk, salt to taste and raisins [if using] and combine well.Cover & let the mix come to a boil on high heat.Once boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and let cook till all the water has evaporated and the rice has cooked. About 12-15 minutes.Remove from heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes.Before serving fluff up with a fork and serve warm along with lamb chops & a salad or raita.
Enjoy & Happy 4th of July everyone!


  1. Drooool! I make a similar rub for a mutton leg roast but never tried with rack of lamb! I bet its awesome. I love the picture of the whole rack, I can tell its delicious.

  2. It looks like it surpassed the lamb at the buffet. I have never made rack of lamb but I am now inspired to. looks magnificent!

  3. Dear Tanvi
    How are you> Here after a long time. Reading your recipes is a great treat !! I like this recipe and the method. But getting good lamb rack ( not more than 4 months old) is difficult to get. Let me check with my vendor if he can get me the meat,
    Have a nice day

  4. Wow. This looks and sounds simply amazing! Great post!

  5. The flavor is this recipe sound gorgeous. Lamb is a favorite, and I will be trying this!

  6. Deepa says:

    Hi Tanvi

    Mutton Chops look simply out of the world. I have seen many mutton recipes and this is one of the beat.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  7. the saffron nut rice SOUNDS amazing!!! i love adding saffron because it gives that beautiful yellow color to the rice :D.

  8. Great job on making that rack of lamb yourself! It looks really great, very hearty and full of flavor. Very nice presentation too.

  9. what a flavourful meal that is. beautiful clicks!

  10. Oh, my! I was NOT going to cook today but now so INSPIRED!

  11. I LOVE a great lamb chop and you’ve definitely put a new and interesting spin on it. Because of you, I’m definitely using more saffron and learning to cook with it better. Thanks girl. I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe 4th of July weekend ;)

  12. I think you nailed that lamb recipe, lady! I should not have checked your site an hour before I am supposed to eat dinner!

  13. I love lamb chops! And living in the Middle East is an advantage for me cos on every street you have atleast 2 Arabic restaurants that sell amazing lamb chops n kebabs. So many nights I just pick up the phone and order esp. when my dad comes home cos he’s a die-hard fan of Arabic food.
    Anyway, I make it at home too (when I’m not lazy) and use a similar rub to yours. Totally agree to what you said about freshly ground pepper…it IS the key. BTW your photos are making me drool and its only breakfast time :-(

  14. Wat an incredible dish, makes me hungry..seriously cant take my eyes from ur beautiful clicks..

  15. My wife (Nami) doesn’t eat lamb but she’s saying this one looks so good she might be willing to try. Maybe I can go hunt down some organic lamb chop so it won’t taste as gamey. Awesome recipe!

  16. This sounds so flavourful and definitely a suitable dish for the cooler months here in Sydney!

  17. Gorgeous Girl. Im not a lamb fan, but this dish might just turn me. Love the saffron rice and the presentation of the dish itself is beautiful. Wowza the cutlets are huge, what a feast. :)

  18. Your pictures are always so beautiful!
    I can’t say for the lamb, but the saffron rice looks scrumptious!

  19. Mmmm I love Indian spices! :)

  20. my mouth is watering! your story was so cute. your husb became obsessed with the lamb, hehe. i’m 100% positive that he raved about this one even more than the buffet version.
    i love masala “chaampein” my mom makes them and they are soooo good.

    i also love the rice, want to dive into the plate!

  21. Not a fan of lamb, but this is so beautifully done that I would love to give it a try. The marinade blend looks like a keeper for any meat dish. Thanks for sharing!

  22. This looks absolutely yummy!

  23. Absolutely gorgeous! I love saffron, such a unique flavor. You really kicked it out of the ballpark with this recipe, Tanvi! xx

  24. Wow! I LOVE Lamb cooked just about any way and that is one of the most beautiful preparations I’ve seen! Definitely look forward to making this :-)

  25. Thank you everyone for stopping by..I m glad you liked the recipe :)

  26. Ooh, I love the spices in your lamb dish and the saffron rice… wow. Your photos are gorgeous!

  27. That dish looks lipsmackingly good! What awesome flavors. Those chops look just irresistible.



  28. I am not big on lamb but hubby is. This looks fantastic. I love the addtion of rice and spices to the mix. It makes it even taste better. Wonderful job Tanvi, You are an artist.

    Hope you have a great week ahead.

  29. Lamb chops are one of my all time favorite foods, and I’ve got to tell you, this looks positively divine, don’t be surprised if you come home tomorrow to see a very pretty housewife on your doorstep looking to be fed LOL.
    *kisses* HH

  30. Hope you had a terrific holiday! Not surprised that P was smitten over lamb- especially your preparation. It looks gorgeous! I’m not a big meat eater either but I can’t resist a good leg of lamb.

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  32. Mouthwatering lamb chops Tanvi …. your spice rub is just delish! Very well paired with awesome saffron rice!

  33. Mmm that spice blend would definitely keep me coming back for more!

  34. The Teenage Taste says:

    I’m a sucker for a good buffet, but in all my buffet travels I’ve never seen one that served lamb! Mmmmm! Lamb is one of my favorite red meats! :-)

  35. This lamb looks fabulous. Your food photography is off the charts lately Tanvi. I am so jealous. Your food styling as well. I think you have seriously found a second proffession. I you need to apply for Food Network Star on FN. Think about it. I’d vote for you!

  36. Oh YUM!! I love lamb, but I always end up cringing over the price in the meat aisle at the grocery store . . . maybe I need to bite the bullet though, because this looks soooo good. I love your pictures, too! Especially that second one, with the rack and the slices of lime–just gorgeous.

  37. I’m about to devour my computer… Tanvi, this looks sensational! Your husband is one lucky guy. :-)

  38. This lamb looks beautifully prepared and love the marinade…but the rice, oh wow I want to try it :)

  39. What a nice combo- I love saffron rice! As usual, gorgeous photos!

  40. This looks wonderful! I’ve always wanted to make saffron rice, and now that I know how, I’ll bookmark this recipe and give it a try! Thanks!!! :)

  41. Lamb chops are one of my favorite dishes to prepare. I am going to try this Indian spice rub. My wife and I love Indian food, so hopefully we can get our Indian fix with this recipe.

  42. Awesome recipe. Absolutely love it :)
    Here’s another recipe you might like.
    Thanks for sharing.

  43. Nazra says:

    I made this for my first time cooking lamb,for Christmas dinner,my kids and family loved it,it’s now on our permanent favorites holiday menu,I’m now making it for New Year’s Eve dinner.thank you for a wonderful delicious simple recipe.

  44. Bharat says:

    Tried it very nice but it was hard work to cut through the chops


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