Chops Kari Varuval


How to Cook Indian

Published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Indian cooking is about amalgamating spices and then cooking them correctly. This recipe is a fine example of this. I suggest making this dish when you have plenty of time, as the cooking requires some care.


Makes 12/3 cups (325 grams).

2 cups (500 grams) unsalted butter

1. Place a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, lower the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently so that it does not scorch, for 30 minutes or until the liquid is light brown and the residue settles to the bottom. There will be some milk solids that rise to the top as foam and these should be skimmed off.

2. Set aside to cool slightly. Strain into a clean jar and let cool completely. Cover with an airtight lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Cooking Methodsauteeing


Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturemeaty, spiced


  • 1 pound (500 grams) lamb chops
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium red onions, sliced
  • 1-inch (2½-cm) piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 or 6 green chiles, stemmed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2½ teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 30 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1-inch (2½-cm) cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons table salt
  • 1½ tablespoons ghee (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Pat the chops dry with a kitchen towel and then flatten slightly by beating with the blunt side of a knife or with a meat mallet. Place them in a bowl. Stir the turmeric into the yogurt, rub the mixture on the chops, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour.

  2. Place a nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add one third of the onions, the ginger, garlic, chiles, cilantro, coriander, peppercorns, fennel, half the cinnamon, 4 of the cloves, and 2 of the cardamom pods, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant. Cool and place in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water. Process to a fine paste.

  3. Place another nonstick saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the bay leaves, remaining cinnamon, remaining cloves, remaining cardamom pods, and remaining onions. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned.

  4. Add the ground spice mixture and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chops and continue to sauté for 8 minutes or until the chops are well covered with the spices and the oil comes to the top.

  5. Add 1 cup (200 ml) water and the salt, and stir well.

  6. Add the ghee and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add another ½ cup (100 ml) water if the lamb is not yet cooked through. Continue to cook for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender.

  7. Uncover and simmer until the sauce is thick. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve immediately.


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