Tamarind-Glazed Grilled Lamb

Début de l'été 2018
food and drink

BY: Donna Borooah

This tamarind glaze tastes like tamarind chutney but acts like BBQ sauce on the grill. The lamb will be sticky, sweet and sour from the glaze. Tamarind is often sold in a block and needs to be softened in hot water. While it is seedless, it still contains some pips and stringy pulp. We’ve strained it for a smooth glaze. Extra glaze can be served on the side or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week to serve with samosas or other savoury Indian snacks. Hot chili powder is a bright red spice from Kashmir. It is not as hot as cayenne.

½ cup (125 mL) seedless tamarind
2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) hot chili powder or cayenne to taste
⅔ cup (150 mL) brown sugar
2 lamb racks, frenched, about 2 lbs (1 kg)
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup (125 mL) tamarind glaze

1. Place tamarind into a heatproof container and break into pieces. Cover with boiling water
and soak until cooled to room temperature, about 1 hour.

2. Strain tamarind mixture through a fine sieve. Reserve strained pulp, discarding any pith and pips.

3. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, cooking until toasted and beginning to pop, about 1 minute. Stir in ginger and chili powder.

4. Add strained tamarind pulp to pot and bring mixture to boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 6 minutes.

5. Add sugar and simmer until dissolved, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and cool completely before using.

6. Heat grill to high and oil grates lightly (see TIP).

7. Turn off half the burners. Coat lamb all over with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sear racks of lamb until browned on heated side of the grill, about 2 minutes a side. Brush all over with tamarind glaze and brown, about 2 minutes a side.

8. Brush all over with glaze again and move lamb to turned-off burners. Close lid and cook until medium-rare (130°F/54°C), about 15 minutes, depending on thickness. Grill with lid closed should be about 400°F (200°C). Transfer lamb to a cutting board and tent with foil for 10 minutes.

9. Carve into individual chops. Serve lamb over Jewelled Rice with a dollop of Mint Ginger Relish alongside Mustard Seed Collard Greens (recipes follows).

TIP Grilling indoors? Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Sear lamb racks on a grill pan, then brush with tamarind glaze and sear again until browned. Transfer seared racks to a baking sheet lined with a roasting rack. Glaze the racks once more and roast in oven until medium-rare (130°F/54°C), about 15 to 18 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serves 4


Can’t find collard greens? Use other dark leafy greens such as kale or Swiss chard. Collards are often braised for a long time but taste great when cooked until just wilted. The firm texture of these greens really stands up to the pops of flavour from whole spices. Black mustard seeds are smaller and more peppery than yellow mustard seed. Use either one interchangeably. To make ahead, combine all ingredients except for lime juice and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat in a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water until sizzling. Add lime juice just before serving.

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
2 tsp (10 mL) mustard seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
1 tsp (5 mL) seeded and chopped green chili
4 cups (1 L) packed sliced collard greens, stems removed
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until toasted and popping, about 1 minute.

2. Add ginger, garlic and chili, cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Stir in greens and water and cook until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL); serves 4

What to Serve