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Tandoori Lamb Chops (Burrah Kabab)
From Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran and Stephanie Lyness
(Clarkson Potter; 2004)
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 4 Servings

Burrah literally means “big” so this is a recipe for people who like big kebabs. There is a mosque in Old Delhi called Jama Masjid that is the largest Mosque in India. The streets around it are peppered with stalls selling street foods. One such stall is Karim’s, one of my favorite places to take friends and especially first time visitors to India. Karim’s is famous for many of their lamb preparations and this is one of them.
The kabobs taste of the warm flavors of garlic, cumin, nutmeg, and mace, balanced by the sharpness of vinegar and lemon. The chops need to marinate overnight so if you spend a few minutes to toss together the marinade the night before, the next night’s dinner will take almost no time at all to put together.
The papaya paste acts as a tenderizer but if you can’t find it, the chops are tender enough without it. Be sure to drain the yogurt for at least 2 hours before using or the lamb will never develop that savory crust during cooking.


  • 2 pounds rib lamb chops, cut 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted cumin seeds, coarsely ground, using mortar and pestle
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, minced very finely or ground to a paste
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced very finely or ground to paste
  • 2 Tablespoons green papaya paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth-lined strainer or a coffee filter for 2 hours
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

Cut three or four deep slashes in each of the chops.
Mix all of the remaining ingredients except the oil and melted butter in a non-plastic bowl large enough to hold the chops. Add the chops and toss to coat in the marinade. Put the chops with the marinade in a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 550°F or preheat the grill.

Add the oil to the bag with the chops, reseal, and massage the bag between your hands to mix the oil. Remove the chops from the marinade. If roasting in the oven, put the chops in a single layer on a rack in a foil-lined baking pan and roast 20 minutes; remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes; then turn the chops, drizzle with the butter and roast 10 more minutes. If grilling, grill 5 minutes each side; let rest 5 minutes off the grill, then brush with the butter and grill 5 more minutes each side.

   Published: September 2005