Tandoori Lamb Chops Lamb Shanks
Tandoori Lamb Chops or Shanks
Tandoori lamb chops are quite easy to make but not seen as often on an Indian menu as Tandoori chicken. The name Tandoori simply means cooked in a Tandoor or a very hot oven. The traditional Tandoor is made of clay. It does not dictate the exact spices used or the colour of the finished product. The dish cooks just as well in any type of hot oven.
The marinade is easy to make in a liquidizer/blender. Spices are of ones own choice. Any lamb pieces will do but my choice is small, good quality, fresh lamb cuts of choice, which can also be barbecued. This type of marinade works for all sorts of meat and seafood.
If you happen to make a little more tandoori marinade than needed, marinade some vegetables like peppers in it and cook in a hot oven for 20 minutes or so. They taste very nice.
Recipe edited and new pictures added July 2018
1 kg. lamb shanks* or chops or other lamb meat of choice
3-4 cloves garlic, skin removed
1 inch piece ginger (1 tbsp. grated)
1 lime or lemon, rind removed (peeled)
3-6 green chillies (less or more as desired), stalk removed
A handful of fresh mint or coriander leaves
2 tsp. cardamom seeds or powder**
1 tsp. cinnamon powder**
1 1/2 tsp. ground black peppers**
2 bay leaves*
A few strands of saffron (optional)
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. paprika powder for colour
Salt to taste
3-4 green/red chillies
1 red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
*Shanks from front legs are smaller and ideal for single portions
**These five whole spices can be substituted with 2 heaped tsp. of Garam Masala, as shown in ingredients picture
Prick each lamb chops a few times with a fork. It helps to absorb flavours.
Place garlic, ginger, peeled lemon, green chillies, coriander leaves, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon powder, black pepper (or garam masala powder), saffron, cooking oil and salt in a liquidizer and blitz for a few seconds, to make a smooth paste.
Taste and adjust salt and spices. They should taste extra strong at this stage as they will be added to 1 kg. of lamb.
Mix with lamb chops/pieces, place in an airtight box and leave for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
Heat oven to 200C or 400F (tandoor is supposed to be very hot).
Line a baking tray with aluminium foil (this saves washing up).
Place lamb chops on the tray and bake in the centre of the hot oven, until nicely browned and dry. You will need to turn the pieces over half way through cooking. The lamb chops should look crispy and charred in places, as if you have cooked them on a BBQ. You may need to drain off the excess liquid from the cooking tray halfway through, so that the end result is not soggy. Save the drained liquid in a gravy pot and serve with the chops. You can thicken the gravy by mixing 1 teaspoon of corn flour to it and then cooking in a pan for a few minutes. Cooking time varies in different ovens but it usually 30 minutes in a preheated oven.
Marinated Lamb chops are excellent cooked on a BBQ.