If I could describe Lahorites taste in food in one word, it would surely be ‘hearty’.Masala Chaanp is a delicacy from the rich Lahori cuisine, another decadent and delicious recipe inherited from the Mughals. Slow braised lamb chops in toasted spices and thick yogurt marinade is a meat lover’s dream come true.

The tender rib chops of young lamb or goat are slowly braised and then fried, slathered in rich and fragrant juices dripping from the bones. Traditionally cooks use poppy seed paste to thicken the gravy and chickpea flour to help absorb the spices and make the marinade cling to the tender meat pieces. If you can’t get poppy seeds, you can make the paste with almonds or cashews as well.

As the meat is on the bone, I love to make it very tender in this recipe so that it slips from off the bone onto the fork and into the mouth without any struggle or fight. Gnawing at the bones is certainly not a very attractive sight, specially if you have company.

These juicy braised lamb chops are a great idea for a starter or side and make a very satisfying main course when served with mashed potatoes or potato wedges, grilled vegetables or any other warm salad.


1+1/2 kg lamb chops
2 cups yogurt
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons gram flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (khaskhaas)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3-4 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil

This Is What You Do:

Heat a skillet or frying pan on medium low heat. Toast gram flour, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chilli flakes, cardamom seeds for a few seconds. Don’t let the spices burn or they will get a very unpleasant bitter taste.

Grind all the toasted spices in a dry mill to a powdered spice mix.

In big mixing bowl add yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, toasted spice mix, garam masala and salt. Add lamb chops and mix everything to coat the chops completely with the marinade. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Add the chops along with the marinade to a deep pan. Add 2 cups water. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for 90 minutes or till the meat is very tender. Add more water if required.

When the meat is fall-off-the-bones tender and the liquid is sufficiently reduced, add oil. Raise heat to medium, roast uncovered for 5-6 minutes. Keep shaking the pan to avoid the chops sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t stir too much with spoon as it will break the tender meat.

Serve hot with potato wedges, mashed potatoes, stir fried carrots or any flat bread of your choice.

Serves 5

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