Dukkah-Crusted Lamb Chop with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Pea Couscous

Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Pea Couscous by Playful Cooking

Growing up, mutton was my preferred choice of meat. Most Sundays, Dad would rush to the market early morning so he didn’t miss the chance to buy the best quality of meat and later, mom would prepare a rich mutton curry for lunch. We would always be extra hungry on that day. It was only after moving to US that I learnt the difference between lamb and mutton. It surprised me when I realized how rare and hard it is to find mutton in any store over here. After missing my special Sunday lunch for a while, I finally decided to give lamb a try in a restaurant. The experience was bad! I was disappointed with the texture and flavor. The gravy was good but the meat was extremely fibrous with no flavor at all.

That day, I was convinced that my palate would never accept lamb. Until very recently!


Lamb Chops by Sunshine and Smile


Last month, I was contacted by the American Lamb to participate in their Lamb Lovers Photo Contest for the month of February. I was initially not sure but then I believe that my taste buds have changed over the period of time and may be if I flavor it the right way, I might enjoy it. So, I agreed to participate and started discussing some of the recipe ideas with Arvind.

The first attempt was a failure. I over cooked the lamb and it became too hard to chew. It was like a rubber. Disappointed but stubborn, I decided to give it another try and this time I made sure to cook it for less time. Kept it tender and gave it enough time to rest. The result was absolutely delicious. The meat was juicy and the dukkah spice mix gave it a robust flavor with a stunning rustic crust.


Dukkah Spice Mix by Sunshine and Smile


Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce by Sunshine and Smile


Since I took the Middle Eastern route with the lamb chop, I decided to keep the same theme for the sauce and side. Yogurt and mint is a famous combination to go along with lamb. To enhance the flavor and to add some warmth, I sprinkled just a tad bit of roasted cumin. One can never go wrong with this flavor profile. Creamy yogurt with refreshing mint and warm cumin always works. For the side, there was a quick pea couscous mixed with simple lemon vinaigrette.


Yogurt Mint Sauce by Sunshine and Smile


Pea Couscous by Sunshine and Smile


It might sound like a lot of work but trust me when I say this, it took me less than 30 minutes to prepare the whole meal. Add another 5 minutes to make the dukkah spice mix, if you don’t have it ready. Of course I was doing multi tasking, but I was not running around huffing and puffing. It was easy going and effortless. The meal was satisfying, hearty and perfect for the season.


Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Pea Couscous by Playful Cooking

Dukkah-Crusted Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Pea Couscous

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


For the pea couscous

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-1/4 cup water
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly cracked peppers

For the lamb roast

  • 3 piece lamb chops
  • 3 tablespoons dukkah spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • pinch of salt

For the mint yogurt sauce

  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin, roughly crushed (you can substitute it with cumin powder)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


For the pea couscous

  1. Boil 1-1/4 cup of water in a deep pan that has a tight lid.
  2. While the water boils, make the vinaigrette. In a bowl, add half a lemon juice, pinch of salt, freshly cracked peppers. Pour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil into the mix while whisking it continuously.
  3. Once the water is boiled, drop the peas and let it boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Switch of the heat, pour the couscous, pinch of salt and stir. Cover with the lid and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Once done, fluff it with a fork and pour the vinaigrette in it. Give it a mix and keep it aside to serve later along with the lamb roast.

For the lamb roast:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon oil with 3-tablespoons dukkah spice mix and 1 teaspoon salt (avoid using salt if the dukkah spice mix already has salt in it).
  3. Take half tablespoon of the mixture and press it on one side of the lamb chop. Repeat the same for the other two chops.
  4. On a medium hot pan (preferably cast iron), place the lamb chops, spice side down. Now rub the rest of the spices on the other side on the chop and let it cook for 4 minutes on each side. After that, put it in the oven for 5 minutes.
  5. Once done, cover it with an aluminum foil let it rest for 5 minutes, before you serve it.
  6. While the roast is resting, make the mint and yogurt sauce.

For the mint and yogurt sauce:

  1. In a food processor, drop handful of fresh mint leaves, 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, pinch of salt and some freshly cracked black peppers.
  2. Run the food processor until everything is combined to a smooth texture.
  3. Now, pour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and give it a mix.
  4. Finally, add the roasted cumin and mix one last time.
  5. Pour the sauce in a bowl and serve it with the lamb roast.


Lamb Chops with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Pea Couscous by Sunshine and Smile

Did you enjoy this Dukkah-Crusted Lamb Chop with Yogurt Mint Sauce and Pea Couscous? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • s
    February 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    the pics are to-die-for x

  • Joyti
    February 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Ah, what a beautiful meal! Although I don’t eat lamb (meat), this does look like a hearty, wholesome meal for a meat-lover.

  • Reem
    February 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Beautiful. .
    You know I too miss fresh mutton here. But lamb works great one we get use to to is flavors.
    This looks fabulous, dukkah must have added loads of freshness n flavor

  • Rose Magpies Recipes
    Rose Magpies Recipes
    February 11, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    K you can even make raw meat look good! I too prefer mutton to lamb but maybe I will give it another try too!

  • Nandita
    February 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    What a hearty meal!!! Looks fantastic Kankana Great post 🙂

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    February 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Mouthwatering, a perfect spring meal!

  • Rosa
    February 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    A fabulous dish! Lamb and dukkah go well together. A delicious pairing



  • Liren
    February 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I only recently learned the difference between mutton and lamb, too! My kids (and I) adore lamb, but my husband still is dubious. I do think I could convince him with this. Dukkah is amazing, and this is gorgeous.

  • Luv'n Spoonfuls
    Luv'n Spoonfuls
    February 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I absolutely love lamb, so I am definitely bookmarking this recipe. I can’t wait to give this a try, and think the spice combo sounds divine! Lovely photos too…

  • Arch
    February 11, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I don’t eat lamb / mutton, but had to read thru your post because of these fabulous images you put up. Your pics are capable of converting anyone…This dukkah is something I have bookmarked and yet to make.

  • Mallika
    February 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    That’s beautiful!

  • notyet100
    February 12, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    Can imagine the taste ,,,:)
    Love the taste too,..

  • Abbe@ThisIsHowICook
    [email protected]
    February 12, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Though I don’t eat lamb anymore I used to love it! And the rest of my family does also. I think the simplest prep is the best as it lets the flavors of the lamb shine. You definitely seemed to accomplish that!

  • Eha
    February 12, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Oh my! Won’t this be cooked soonest in this house 🙂 ! Love each of the three parts enormously, but am happiest to be pointed towards the pea couscous: methinks this easy way of preparing one of my favourite grains is going to become a fast favourite! Thanks so much!!

  • deepa
    February 12, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    I don’t buy lamb and cook at home, sometimes when we go out for dinner my hubby orders a lamb dish I do taste it…I can see you have used very basic spices but made it look so delectable ..

  • Sarvani
    February 12, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    These look so damn good!! its ten minutes to lunch time.. and I need these NOW!! i still have an issue with cooking lamb.. need to get around it fast!!

  • Lubna Karim
    Lubna Karim
    February 13, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Wow….lovely pics…that backgrounds adds on to it….fab….recipe sounds so yum…

  • Nami | JOC
    Nami | JOC
    February 14, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    In Japan we don’t usually eat lamb (only northern part there is a lamb dish), so I’m still not used to it while my husband enjoys it. I just don’t like the smell and taste – it’s unique and I’m not used to it…. it’s so funny because I can eat other smelly and weird flavor food! I must get used to it so I can enjoy various lamb dish. Gorgeous photos Kankana! 🙂

  • Gourmantine
    February 15, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    Gorgeous dish and your photos are just stunning, can’t stop looking 🙂

  • Mich Piece of Cake
    Mich Piece of Cake
    February 17, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Oh wow your lamb chops look simply delicious! Your photos are really nice too.

  • Kiran
    February 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Everything about this recipe spells — COMFORT 😀

  • goboroot
    March 1, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Amazing photos! They made me so hungry. I wish I were there to sit down and start to dig in:) Great work, Kankana!

  • Caroline
    March 13, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    This recipe…the whole plate…is beautiful. I love lamb. I grew up eating it regularly. I’ll be making this one! Your site is gorgeous…I love your photography!

    April 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I want to make this dish for a dinner with 10 of my close friends . But I want to make a leg of lamb instead with the same Dukka spice. advice ..:)

    • Kankana Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      April 3, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      I am glad you liked the recipe Aruna unfortunately with leg of lamb I am really not sure as I am not very familiar with how to cook it! Roasting a leg of lamb would definitely take a lot of time, so I guess you can rub the same spice mix and try it. But I really cannot suggest anything beyond that. I am sorry, couldn’t be of much help!

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