Aromatic spiced lamb cutlets

    29 min

    The ingredients in this delicious Middle Eastern main dish offer a good range of nutrients, including lots of vitamins and minerals. In addition, the dish is very quick and easy to make.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 8 lamb best end of neck cutlets, about 400g, trimmed of fat
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp coriander seeds
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • salt and pepper
    • sprigs of fresh mint to garnish
    • Minted yoghurt sauce
    • 1/4 cucumber
    • 150g plain low-fat yoghurt
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 tsp bottled mint sauce
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
    • Apricot and almond couscous
    • 280g couscous
    • 100g dried apricots, chopped
    • 500ml boiling vegetable stock
    • 50g whole blanched almonds, toasted
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:14min  ›  Ready in:29min 

    1. Preheat the grill to high. Place the lamb cutlets in a shallow dish. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds briefly in a pestle and mortar to crack them, then mix with the lemon juice, garlic and oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the lamb cutlets, turn them over to coat both sides and set aside to marinate while you make the sauce.
    2. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber coarsely and drain off any excess water. Mix with the yogurt, garlic, mint sauce and fresh mint. Set aside.
    3. Place the lamb cutlets on the rack in the grill pan and grill for 10–12 minutes, turning once. The cutlets will be medium-rare; if you prefer them medium to well-done cook for 12–14 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, put the couscous and apricots in a large bowl and pour over the boiling stock. Stir well, then cover with a plate and set aside to soak for 5 minutes.
    5. Stir the almonds, chopped mint and coriander, lemon juice and oil into the couscous. Spoon the couscous onto plates, top each serving with 2 lamb cutlets and put a spoonful of the sauce on the side. Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint and serve immediately.

    Another idea

    Trim the fat from 400 g (14 oz) lean lamb neck fillet, cut the meat across the grain into strips and toss in the marinade. Heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan or non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat until hot. Brush with a little olive oil, then cook the lamb strips in batches for 2–3 minutes or until tender, turning them often. Finely shred 170 g (6 oz) cos lettuce and mix with 1 thinly sliced red onion, 1 coarsely grated carrot and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Spoon into warmed pitta breads and add the lamb strips. Top with some of the yogurt and cucumber sauce, add a drizzle of hot chilli sauce if you like, and serve immediately.

    Plus points

    Almonds are a source of fibre, vitamin E and several minerals. They are also high in fat, although most of it is unsaturated. * People in Hunza, a region in northern Kashmir, are famous for their long lives – and some have put this down to eating dried apricots. Whether true or not, dried apricots are a good source of fibre and iron and a useful source of vitamin A. * Couscous is low in fat and high in starchy carbohydrate. It scores low on the Glycaemic Index scale, which means that it breaks down slowly in the body, releasing energy gradually into the bloodstream. * There are over 30 varieties of mint, all containing oils that have antiseptic properties. Mint is also believed to relieve indigestion – peppermint tea made from fresh mint leaves is drunk throughout the Middle East as an aid to digestion.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, B12, E, niacin, iron, zinc * B2 * C, folate, selenium

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