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Turkish mutton chops from Gaziantep

Gaziantep is in the South Eastern region of Turkey near the Mediterranean cost. It is known to be an ancient city, controlled initially by the Yamhad, then the Hittites and later the Assyrians. This old historic and trade city has evolved over the centuries and has a cuisine that is quite distinct from the rest of Turkey. It is wonderful in its own right.

This is a very traditional recipe from the region. The original recipe was made with grilled chunks of lamb, but we have upscaled the recipe to use lamb or mutton chops. The meat is soft, tenderized by the acid in the tomato, and the flavors are mild and delicate. The chops turn a beautiful red color over the charcoal making this dish absolutely beautiful. I loved the mild spice from the pul biber (more on Turkish peppers here) that enhanced the flavors of the meat and the soft melt-in-your-mouth meat. This is definitely a recipe that I will make again. I used mutton chops but feel free to substitute lamb chops, the later are super expensive in India.

This is an amazing cookbook by a British chef who specialized in cuisines from the Middle East and across Turkey. This book is filled with recipes for kebabs, stews and other Turkish favorites, as well as, some more contemporary dishes. Everything I have cooked from this book has been fantastic, this is one of my favorite Turkish cookbooks.

For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.


2 lb mutton, or lamb, chops

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or pil biber flakes

2 tablespoon mint, minced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tomato, minced finely

Salt, to taste

Pomegranate seeds to garnish

Mint, to garnish

Add the meat to a large bowl followed by all the other ingredients. Mix well covering the lamb with the marinade. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

Grill the lamb on a charcoal grill till cooked, about 3 minutes a side or longer if preferred.

Alternatively, heat the broiler in your oven and broil about 5 inches from the top for 4 minutes a side, till charred.

Serve immediately garnished with pomegranate seeds and mint.

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