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Malay grilled mutton chops in tamarind and green chilli

I have been looking at this recipe for quite a while now and today was the perfect opportunity to make it. I have been playing with Malay flavours for some time and getting to enjoy the flavours and complexity of spices. This dish steps away a bit from the traditional but stays with the wonderful taste profiles.

The traditional recipe is with lamb, but you can easily substitute mutton as I have done. The meat is marinated with the tamarind dressing absorbing the sourness and spices. Roasting the meat on the grill or in the oven turns them into tender mouthfuls. The topping of green chilli adds a bang to the dish, however, it does not overpower the meat, rather it compliments the sour flavours. These are little lollipops that you will not be able to stop eating.

Mandy Yin is a London-based lawyer who started her foray into the world of food with the Sambal Shiok restaurant. Sambal Shiok translates to "shockingly good sambal", and this book follows these steps with excellent recipes. The recipes swing from traditional to contemporary while maintaining wonderful flavours. This is a lovely cookbook for those who want to venture into the complex world of Malay cooking.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


2 lb mutton chops, frenched

6-8 green chillies

4-5 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon sugar

For the marinade:

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds

1 tablespoon ground cumin seeds

1 tablespoon white pepper

2 tablespoons jaggery or palm sugar

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

2-3 tablespoons water

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade well. You have a thick liquid.

Toss the mutton chops in the marinade and allow to sit for at least 4 hours, overnight is preferable. I generally marinate the chops in the morning for dinner.

Pulse the green chillies, garlic and sugar in a food processor for a few seconds till you have a rough paste. Set aside.

Grill the mutton chops on a grill till they are cooked through and soft, about 6 minutes for the first side and 4 for the second.

Alternatively, heat the oven to 375 °F. Layer the chops on a lined baking sheet and convect broil for 20-25 minutes till the meat is cooked and charred in spots. Flip the meat once during the cooking process.

Keep the chops warm in the oven or tented. Remove the fat from the baking sheet into a small pot. Heat on the stove and add the green chilli mix. Sautè for 1 minute. Pour over the chops and serve immediately. If you have grilled the chops, on the BBQ or do not have enough drippings, use ghee instead of the oil from the drippings.

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