Lamb with Deep-fried Aubergine and Cumin Lentils

Tender spice-crusted lamb, deep-fried aubergines and fragrant lentils make a terrific combination in this gutsy supper from James Martin
By James Martin
Lamb with Deep-fried Aubergine and Cumin Lentils
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the lamb

  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 x 155 g lamb loin

For the aubergines

  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the lentils

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 large green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 625 g Puy lentils
  • 1.25 litres beef stock
  • 2.5 tbsp lime juice
  • 2.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • bunches coriander, chopped


1. Mix the cumin, salt and pepper together and roll the lamb loins in the mixture until they are coated; set aside.

2. Cut the aubergines into 2cm thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to drain.

3. For the lentils, tip the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli peppers into a food processor.

4. Add the cumin and process to a paste - you may need to add a little water to loosen.

5. Heat the ghee and vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the paste and fry for about 10 minutes, until fragrant.

6. While the paste is frying, place the lentils in a sieve and rinse under running water for a few minutes. Stir the lentils into the paste in the pan.

7. Add the beef stock and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and keep the lentils warm while you cook the lamb.

8. Rinse the aubergine slices and pat them dry with kitchen paper.

9. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the aubergines until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

10. Drain any excess oil from the pan and add the lamb loins. Cook for 5 minutes on each side.

11. To serve, place an aubergine round on each plate. Sprinkle the coriander leaves over the warm lentils and place a spoonful on top of each aubergine slice. Slice the lamb loins and serve over the lentils.

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