I love Indian food but my wife is not such a fan, so I tried to find a recipe that included the right spices, but not the heat that sometimes can overpower Indian dishes. I took a couple of recipes from Aarti Sequeira from our Food Network, who likes to give an American twist to her native Indian recipes, and adapted it for what I had available. She originally used lamb loin chops and my first attempt was based on that, but then I tried it again with pork chops and the results were just as good. Serve with the Crispy Coriander Potatoes and minted peas.
If you don’t want to grind the spices yourself, you can be lazy and just use ground coriander and fennel, but the aroma of them toasting is wonderful.
Ingredients – serves 4:
- 8 lamb loin chops or 4 pork tenderloins (about 1 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 4 teaspoons grated ginger
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I have used both Sriracha and Sambal Oelek and either will work)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
Crispy Coriander Potatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds (700g) small red potatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to 250C/230C fan forced/475F.
- Toast coriander and fennel seeds in a small pan, being careful not to burn them. Once they have turned darker, remove and cool.
- Put them in a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.
- Mix the spices, yogurt, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, hot sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season according to your preference. Marinade should be smooth and pink!
- Line a 9in x 13in (23cm x 33cm) baking dish with aluminium foil and then spray with cooking spray.
- Lay out your chops and then cover with the marinade, rubbing it into the meat. You can marinade overnight, for a few hours or just 30 minutes depending on how much time you have.
- Meanwhile, make the Crispy Coriander Potatoes. Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and season with salt. Set on a high heat and bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are par-boiled (a fork draws out with no resistance) – about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Put the meat in the oven and bake until meat cooked is to your liking (15 – 20 minutes if you like the lamb rare – let the pork go for at least 25 minutes).
- Whilst the meat is cooking, warm the oil in a large pan until its shimmering but not smoking. Add the fennel seeds – they should sizzle on contact with the oil. Immediately add the potatoes, coriander, tumeric, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Remove the meat from the oven and sit for about 5 minutes.
- Stir fry the potatoes until they get crispy and golden brown. Finish with lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro.
- Serve immediately.