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:-
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
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