Potato-coated lamb cutlets

Cyrus Todiwalla serves Parsee-style lamb cutlets covered with spiced mashed potato, rolled in semolina, fried and served with an onion and tomato gravy
By Cyrus Todiwala
Potato-coated lamb cutlets
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 2 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp chilli powder
  • 8-10 French trimmed lamb chops, flattened out with a rolling pin or meat mallet
  • 4-5 potatoes, ideally Maris Piper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 X 5 cm peices of cassia bark, (alternatively use cinnamon sticks if none available)
  • splashes white wine vinegar
  • 3 green chillies, (2 chillies slit lengthways, 1 chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp sugar
  • 100-150 g plain flour
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 100-150 g fine semolina
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • mixed salad leaves, to serve


1. Mix together the ginger and garlic paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder in a non-reactive dish. Rub the marinade into the lamb chops and leave them, covered, in the dish in the fridge with the marinade for at least two hours (ideally overnight).

2. Peel and slice the potatoes to roughly ½ cm thick. Cook in a pan of boiling water until tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the same pan over a medium heat to draw off any excess moisture, continuously scraping from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula until the potatoes are dry.

3. Mash the potatoes or pass them through a ricer and set aside in a wide dish to cool. Refrigerate the potatoes once they reach room temperature, but do not cover (this may moisten the mash).

4. When you are ready to cook the meat, heat the oil in a flat frying pan and add the cassia bark (or cinnamon sticks), white wine vinegar and the two slit chillies.

5. When the bark darkens and the chillies change colour, scrape all the excess marinade off the lamb and brown the meat in the pan on both sides, taking care not to keep the oil too hot as this will cause the marinade to burn. Take care not to agitate the pan too much either otherwise it will cool down and the chops will stew rather than fry.

6. When the chops are coloured, remove them and set aside. Add the onion and the masala that was scraped off the chops to the pan. Pour in a splash of water and stir to catch any meat sediment or masala that may have stuck to the base of the pan.

7. Once the onion is softened, but not browned, add the tomatoes and simmer until the tomato is thoroughly cooked. Add more water as necessary, so that the sauce has a pouring consistency. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as necessary. Remove and discard the cassia bark and the green chillies.

8. Add half of the chopped coriander to the mashed potato and add the remainder to the sauce. Stir the reserved finely chopped chilli and cumin seeds into the potato. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

9. Using your hands, divide the potato into one ball for each chop. Cover the meat area of each chop with the mash.

10. Roll each chop into some flour, then into the beaten egg and finally into the semolina. When all the chops are coated, heat about 2cm in depth of vegetable oil in a large flat-bottomed saucepan until a breadcrumb sizzles and browns when dropped in it (do not leave the hot oil unattended.) Fry the chops until golden-brown and crisp. Remove with a fish slice or slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

11. Serve the chops with the tomato and onion sauce and some salad (if you like).

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