Curried rack of lamb with red quinoa, apricot chutney, and mint-yogurt sauce

I am addicted to Indian food and fascinated by all their spices and flavor profiles. Making the marinade at home, instead of using store-bought curry, makes such a difference in preparing this dish—especially if you let it absorb all the flavors for a couple of hours before searing the meat. The chutney and yogurt sauce complement the lamb and add an extra touch of authenticity!

Ingredients

Apricot chutney

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped + 2 tbsp finely minced
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Mint-yogurt sauce

  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ tsp lemon grind
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Lamb

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp toasted garlic powder
  • ½ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ½ tsp ancho chili
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 New Zealand rack of lamb (aprox. 2 lbs)
Quinoa
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

Preparation

Apricot chutney (Make ahead)

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat; add onion and sauté until translucent. Add apricots, cranberries, and sugar and stir to combine with wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes. Stir in molasses, water, and vinegar; season with salt to taste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until chutney is thick and consistent; stir couple of times while it cooks.

Mint-yogurt sauce  (Make ahead)

Combine all ingredients in a blender; set on high to mix. Set aside.

Lamb

Combine all spices and salt in a small bowl; add olive oil and whisk together. Rub mixture all over rack of lamb, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven at 400˚F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil at moderately high heat on a cast iron skillet; sear both sides of rack of lamb. Transfer lamb to baking sheet, tent with aluminum foil, and set in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, remove tent, and cook for additional 12-14 minutes for medium-rare (or until desired level of doneness). Remove from oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Quinoa

While lamb marinades, rinse quinoa thoroughly and drain. Combine quinoa and broth in a small pot and set on stove over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and reduce heat to low. Let quinoa absorb all liquids, covered, for around 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork onto a medium bowl. Drizzle quinoa with olive oil and add cilantro; toss to mix. Set aside.

Spoon yogurt sauce on a plate and top with red quinoa, using a mold or cup. Slice lamb chops and arrange on plate; serve with chutney on the side and garnish with fresh mint.

 

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