Spicy Lamb Cutlets, Raita & Home-made Yoghurt

Spicy Lamb Cutlets – Garlicky, spicy lamb cutlets, marinated in fresh herbs and grilled until sizzling.
Recipe from The New Curry Secret

Raita made with home-made organic yoghurt

Notes form diary late September 2008, back in Orange. This blooming grass! Oh well, it is getting a bit easier as we dig out the rocks – the ones that don’t go all the way to China that is. I use the ones that I can lift to build rock borders around some of the areas we barked and gravelled last time around. It’s hot, exhausting work but a good way to keep fit. I’m getting a tan on top of my tan and muscles on top my muscles, but the rock borders look absolutely beautiful. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Rock Border in front of the Cottage
and the views to the North West

Several tons of organic soil and wood chip have been delivered. Still time to plant the summer veg - once we’ve transferred the soil into the beds, that is. And spread weed mats over the grass and covered them with wood chip. And built a fence to keep the hares out. And put a watering system in. We’ve got a few days, we’ll get there.

The fencer I called doesn’t turn up. He comes the following day, spends an hour chatting about all sorts of things (except the fence) and said he’ll call with a quote.

The evening before we go back to Sydney, the raised beds are assembled, the area around 4 of them has been covered in weed mats and mulched with wood chip, we have filled one bed, using
a shovel and wheel barrow, and about a third filled the others so that they don’t blow away.

Beds are ready but there is no watering system. Next time I will sow.

Phew. The good thing about this hard work is that it gives me very healthy appetite and I can eat lots without putting on weight.

Spicy Lamb Cutlets
These lamb cutlets are so succulent and tasty you will have them coming back for more. They are ideal for an entree to a formal dinner or as finger food for a casual bash.

The cutlets come from the rib and contain the tender fillet attached to the rib bone which makes them ideal as a finger food for informal gatherings.

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes approx (plus 2-3 hours marinating time)

8 lamb cutlets
2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mint jelly
1 tsp of salt
  • Trim the cutlets and scrape the bone ends to remove
    fat and gristle.
  • Mix all the remaining ingredients except salt in a bowl,
    and add the lamb cutlets. Using your hands rub the
    herb and spice mixture into the meat ensuring each
    cutlet is evenly coated. Cover and leave to marinate in
    the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Remove the lamb from the fridge about half an hour
    before cooking.
  • Heat a heavy based frying pan capable of holding
    the cutlets without overcrowding, until very hot.
  • Sprinkle somed salt onto each cutlet. Cook the cutlets
    for about 1 ½ minutes each side.
  • Serve hot with yoghurt mint sauce.
Tips: The mint jelly is the secret ingredient in this dish. The hint of sweetness balances the lemon juice and spices beautifully.

Ready prepared garlic, usually preserved in lemon juice, is also a good shortcut for garlicky marinades.
Yoghurt Mint Sauce

150ml (5 fl oz) plain yoghurt
1 tsp mint sauce
½ level tsp salt
¼ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp ambchoor
½ tsp caster sugar
2 tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.


Yoghurt is a superb accompaniment to spicy foods and traditionally, is served in some guise or another at every Indian meal. It is a common side dish or accompaniment on the Indian restaurant menu as Raita, lightly spiced and usually combined with shredded cucumber. Cucumber is an excellent ingredient to use in Raita – it doesn’t require cooking, is easy to prepare and has the right texture and mild flavour, but other vegetables or even fruits can be used to add variety.

I have used a combination of onion, cucumber and carrot but you might like to try grated daikon or radish, chopped tomato, shredded mint or finely diced melon or apple.

If you don’t wish to make you own yoghurt, purchase a good quality, preferably organic, commercial product.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

½ red onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, grated
½ cucumber, grated or julienned
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
300ml (11 fl oz) yoghurt
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp garam masala
Pinch turmeric (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed. Refrigerate until required.

How to make yoghurt
Bring a litre of organic milk to the boil. Let the milk stand until it cools to about 36°C - blood heat. Transfer the milk to a warm bowl or other container with a lid and stir in 2 tbs of live plain yoghurt. Wrap the container in a tea-towel and place in a warm place for 4-5 hours until set. Refrigerate for up to a week.