Spice-crusted lamb rack, with spinach-potatoes and moilee-tomato sauce

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This lamb recipe from Vineet Bhatia adds an Indian dimension to a rack of lamb by giving it a spiced crust and pairing it with stir-fried spinach and potatoes. Though the preparation is reasonably time consuming, the cooking itself is quick and simple. Some of the spices are hard to find but are all available at Indian supermarkets or specialist shops.

First published in 2015




Lamb rack


Spice crust

Moilee-tomato sauce

Stir-fried spinach potatoes


  • Fine sieve


For the lamb rack, start by trimming off any fat on the cut. Mix together all the lemon juice, ginger, red chilli, garam masala and garlic for the marinade. Massage the marinade gently on to the racks of lamb and set aside for 3 hours
Roast all the spices for the spice crust in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they turn a shade darker, stirring or shaking them constantly. Crush them coarsely in a spice mill, coffee grinder or with a pestle and mortar
Mix them with the coriander and basil stalks, then add the softened butter. Cream the mixture together and gently mix in the breadcrumbs. Spoon the spice crust on to a piece of greaseproof paper and spread it out with a spatula
With the tip of a knife, mark out 4 squares large enough to cover the flesh side of each lamb rack, then place in the fridge to harden
To make the moilee-tomato sauce, heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chilli and shallot and sauté until translucent
Stir in the turmeric and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, coriander and salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes
Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and reheat. Whisk in the lemon juice, then the butter
For the stir-fried spinach potatoes, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, then drain. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil and butter in a frying pan, add the chopped garlic, ginger and shallot and sauté until softened but not coloured
Add the spinach, garam masala and salt and sauté until the spinach is cooked. Lastly, add the boiled diced potatoes and toss with the spinach, check seasoning
Heat some vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the marinated lamb racks and cook over a high heat until the outside is well seared
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Transfer to a baking tray and place the spice crust on each rack. Put in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and roast for 11-12 minutes, until cooked medium rare. Remove and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving
To serve. spoon the spinach in the centre of 4 large pasta plates and pour the moilee sauce around it. Place the lamb on top of the spinach
First published in 2015

While Vineet Bhatia has borrowed from European traditions to plate up his food, the manner and matter of his dishes are unmistakably those of India, handled with immense sophistication and personal panache.

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