Spicy plum lamb chops

Spicey plum lamb chopsOur mother shortly came back from a 4 week trip through South Africa. They mainly traveled through the Cape region and besides the terrific landscape, charming guest houses and wonderful Safari tours they are still rhapsodizing about the fancy and flavorful South African cuisine (not to forget the beautiful wine-growing estates). She told me that most of the dishes were real eye-catchers and lovingly prepared with a lot of attention to detail. To combine salty and sweet is very common and chutneys would be served in all kinds of variations.

Of course our mom wouldn’t be our mom if she didn’t buy several cooking magazines for some inspiration back home. I was lucky to spend a weekend at her house, when she tried out these “lip-smackingly delicious” lamb chops by Thulisa Martins, a South-African food stylist & blogger, whose recipe was published in “Food & Home Entertaining” last September. This dish will really blow you away! Just thinking of it, makes me want to have it again, badly! I think the best about the dish is, that it looks as good as it tastes. And the plum marinade….to die for! My mother used her home-made plum-compote (also called Powidl) from last summer, so checked out the recipe for the preparation.

Spicy plum lamb chops
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: South-African
Serves: 6
  • Spicy Plum Sauce
  • 4 onions, diced
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 10ml (2tsp) ground cumin
  • 240g brown sugar
  • 100g tamarind paste
  • 4 star anise
  • 50g ginger, freshly grated
  • 16 small plums, peeled, pitted and chopped, or 200ml preservative-free plum sauce
  • 20ml (4tsp) Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 2 fresh red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) soya sauce
  • Lamb chops
  • salt and frehsly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 kg rack of lamb
  • olive oil, to fry
  • Garnish
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • small handful sugar snap peas
  • small handful pea shoots
  • small handful bird`s eyes chillies (optiional)
  1. For the spicy plum sauce, bring the onions, water, garlic, cumin, sugar, tamarind paste and star anise to a boil in a large saucepan, then turn down the heat and simmer, 30 minutes.
  2. Add the ginger, plums or plum sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and chillies and cook for a further 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Strain the sauce, using a large sieve, while pressing the plums with a wooden spoon to get as a much fluid out as possible. Stir the soya sauce into the strained sauce.
  4. For the lamb chops, season the rack of lamb with salt and pepper and brown in a little olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Cut into lamb cutlets and baste with the spicy plum sauce. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast in the oven, 8 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium, 12-15 minutes for well done. Baste generously halfway through the cooking time.
  6. Let the lamb rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges, lemon zest, peas, pea shoots and whole chillies, if desired. Drizzle with marinade juices from the roasting pan.


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