Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moutabel & Lebanese Lamb Chops

Growing up in Kuwait I often crave authentic Arabic fare. My mother makes the best hummus I have ever eaten out of the Middle East, so after nagging her, she made a big batch just for me which we enjoyed with Boti Kebab, Seek Kebab and Chicken Shawarma for various Bangalore 'kebabaries'.
Hummus with flat leaf parsley and olive oil to garnish and a plate of finely sliced red onion
Moutabel, is a smoked eggplant dip perfect with flat bread, pita chips and even in sandwiches. It really brings out the flavour of chargrilled asparagus, roasted peppers and halloumi
Prep Time 15 minutes, Cook Time 30 minutes
Ingredients: · 3 medium sized eggplants, · 1 tablespoon olive oil, · 1/3 cup tahini paste, · 1 tablespoon minced garlic, · 4 tablespoons lemon juice, · 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, · 1/2-1/4 teaspoon pepper depending on taste, · 1-3 green chili pepper (depending on taste)
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant on lightly greased baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Once roasted, remove from oven and allow to cool.Once eggplants have cooled, peel the skins. They should come off fairly easy. If you are having a tough time, just scoop the eggplant from the skin with a spoon. Set aside.In a food processor, combine and blend tahini, garlic, and peppers. Add in eggplant and blend well. Add in olive oil. Remove from food processor and place in serving bowl. Stir in lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
* A piece of advice, go easy on the 4 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp is mighty fine!

Lebanese Lamb Chops
Ingredients: 12 to 16 lamb chops (depending on size), 2 tablespoon salt, 5 cloves garlic, minced, 1 1/2 lemons, juiced, 2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons Lebanese "7 spices" *, 1 1/2 cups water
* For the Lebanese 7 spices I made my own since it is not available in India. Use a pestle and mortar to grind equal amounts of the following: 6 - 8 pepper corns, rock salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/2 nutmeg grated, 3 garlic pods, 6 - 8 cloves, a bit of rosemary and 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds.
Method: Preheat oven to 550 degrees F. Place lamb chops in a 9 by 12-inch glass baking dish. Combine 1 tablespoon of salt, garlic and lemon juice. Pour over lamb chops. Combine 1 tablespoon of salt, pepper, paprika and "7 spices" to form a rub. Rub both sides of the lamb chops with this mixture. Place chops back into the baking dish and add 1 1/2 cups of water gently on the side of the dish so as to keep the spices on the lamb chops. Cover the dish with foil and seal well. This will ensure the chops stay juicy. Place in the oven at 550 degrees for 30 minutes. Then lower temperature to 400 degrees and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

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