This lamb is adapted from Vikram Vij’s first book. I learned about Indian food by cooking my way through his beautiful collection of recipes that make up his first book Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine. I loved his book so much, that I talked a group of friends into traveling to Vancouver to eat at his world famous restaurant.
The restaurant does not take reservations. Even though we arrived early, a line of eager patrons had already formed outside. Finally, the doors opened and we were ushered into the cozy bar. We ordered drinks and moments later, platters of the most gorgeous and delicious appetizers were passed around the bar. The house treats guests who are waiting for tables to wonderful nibbles and bites. Isn’t that the most gracious and welcoming policy? I felt as though I were a guest in a dear friend’s home. I would have been happy sitting in that bar all night with my friends, cold beer, and Indian food being passed around.
A table opened up and we moved into the dining room. I noticed a lot of women working in the open kitchen and it was fun to watch them in action. We order so many things that night but the highlight was the restaurant’s signature dish, Marinated Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry. It was truly memorable and very special.
Often, I hear people ask my children what their favorite recipe of mine is. Both kids always name this dish as their most favorite dinner. Indeed, when they walk in the house and are greeted with the wonderful scent of warm curry, they call out “Yes!” as if they have won the lottery. Lily loves the sauce so much she says she could take a spoon to it and eat it like soup.
I feel a little shy about altering the brilliant Vikram Vij’s recipe as he is one of my food heroes. I find it hard to even share some of the things I changed because I have so much respect for his talent. I think my version is only slightly different although he would be appalled to know that I omitted his key ingredient of fenugreek. The cause for that alteration is that most people don’t have fenugreek leaves around the house and so many times when I didn’t, my family didn’t seem to mind. So, the new, more streamlined version of the recipe fast became a family favorite.
Since the very essence of the way I cook is about what’s easy and delicious, I’m sharing my version of this famous recipe. I serve this with basmati rice. You can serve the cream curry over the meat or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce.
You can find Vikram Vij’s book here.
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¾ cup grainy yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds french cut lamb chops
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Combine wine, mustard, salt and pepper in large bowl. Add lamb and coat well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinade 2-4 hours. If in a pinch, set on counter for 30-45 minutes to marinade.
- In a medium bowl, whisk cream, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice until combined.
- Head 2 Tablespoons of oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cream mixture.
- Cook on medium low heat for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat cast iron grill pan to medium high heat (if necessary, lower heat to medium). Place lamb on grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side depending on thickness of chops.