Marinated lamb with coconut cabbage

Hrishikesh Desai brings together a wealth of spices, from coriander, turmeric and asafoetida to sambar powder and cumin to create this vibrant dish
Marinated lamb with coconut cabbage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes 3 hours 20 minutes chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the best end of lamb

  • 2 , 6-bone best end lamb cutlets, separated and trimmed
  • 100 ml grapeseed oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp sambar powder
  • 1 curry leaf

For the Savoy cabbage and coconut roulade

  • 2 large savoy cabbage
  • 55 g butter
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 55 g dried coconut
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

For the lemon crushed potatoes

  • 4 red-skinned potatoes
  • 25 ml grapeseed oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1-2 curry leaves
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 onion
  • pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the sambar salsa

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp asafoetida
  • 100 g yellow split peas
  • 100 g red split beans
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 75 g ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • 100 ml grapeseed oil
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, chopped and seeds removed
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves
  • 50 g finely chopped shallots
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 50 g fresh, green olives


1. For the lamb: place the lamb into a roasting tray and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then rub with the grape seed oil. Add the garlic cloves and sprinkle over the sambar powder. Cover, then leave to marinate in the fridge for three hours.

2. For the cabbage and coconut roulade: peel off the outer large green leaves of the cabbages and blach for one minute in a pan of boiling salted water. Drain and refresh in cold water, then drain and place in between two clean tea towels. Set aside to drain.

3. Finely shred the remaining cabbage. Heat the butter in a large heavy-based pan and fry the black mustard seeds for one minute, or until they begin to crackle. Add the shredded cabbage, followed by the dried coconut and the curry leaves. Cook over a low heat for 7-8 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Stir the pan frequently and add a dash of water if needed. Season with the salt and sugar, then chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

4. Lay a sheet of cling film over a chopping board and place the blanched cabbage leaves on top, overlapping each leaf slightly. Spread the cabbage and coconut mixture evenly over the leaves, then tightly roll the cabbage leaves up with the help of the cling film. Tightly twist the ends to seal, then chill in the fridge until needed.

5. For the lemon crushed potatoes, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 7-8 minutes, or until three-quarters cooked, then drain and refresh in cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks.

6. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the black mustard seeds and cumin seeds for one minute, or until the seeds begin to crackle. Add the curry leaves and green chilli to the pan and cook for a further minute. Stir in the turmeric, then add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

7. Add the cooked potatoes to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the potatoes are completely cooked through. Remove from the heat and lightly crush the potatoes with a fork, then add the lemon juice and season with a pinch of salt. Stir in the coriander leaves and set aside.

8. For the sambar salsa: heat a frying pan until smoking and dry roast the coriander seeds, turmeric, black mustard seeds, asafoetida, yellow split beans, pigeon peas or green split beans, red split beans, curry leaves, cumin and salt for 1-2 minutes, or until aromatic, shaking the pan frequently to prevent the spices from burning. Transfer to a food processor and blend to a fine powder.

9. Heat 20ml of the oil in a pan and fry the shallots for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Add two teaspoons of the blended spices and cook for a further minute, then add the tomatoes and green olives and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Season with lemon juice, sugar and salt.

10. Stir in the remaining oil and the chopped coriander seeds. Pour into a small serving bowl.

11. To serve, fry the marinated best end of lamb cutlets in a frying pan for 3-4 minutes on both sides (for medium), or until cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for five minutes. Remove the cling film from the cabbage and coconut roulade, then thickly slice into rounds and place next to the lamb. Spoon the lemon crushed potatoes to the side and serve with the sambar salsa.

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