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Spice-Scented Lamb Chops with Onion-Tomato Compote

Rita Maas

Servings: 2

This dish is wonderful with couscous (the instant kind cooks in five minutes) or with some good crusty bread. If you have ground turmeric on hand, a teaspoon added to the spice rub gives a deeper flavor and a golden hue. I like to garnish this dish with some chopped fresh cilantro.


  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. plus 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 to 1-1/4 lb. lamb chops (about 4 loin chops or 6 rib chops; see How to pick the right cut of lamb chop)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • 3 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. honey

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 430
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 180
  • Sodium (mg): 700
  • Carbohydrates (g): 13
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 50


  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the cumin, cinnamon, and black pepper with 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Rub this paste on the lamb chops and let them stand at room temperature while you thinly slice the onion and finely chop the garlic.
  • In an ovenproof heavy-based medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle a little salt on the lamb chops and put the chops in the pan; give the pan a brisk shake. Sear the chops until one side is a deep reddish brown (this will take a few minutes). Turn the lamb over and sear the other side. Remove the lamb from the pan and reserve; don’t wipe out the pan.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, scraping to dislodge any lamb drippings, until the onion is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, paprika, ginger, cayenne, and honey, stirring to combine. Nestle the chops back in the pan and put the pan in the oven. Remove the pan from the oven when the internal temperature of the lamb chops reaches 120° to 125°F on an instant-read thermometer (for medium rare), 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the lamb chops.
  • Divide the lamb chops between two plates. The tomato compote should be quite thick; if it’s watery, cook it a minute or two more over high heat. Spoon the compote over the chops. Sprinkle with cilantro, if you like, and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • DJ | 03/25/2018

    Wonderful smells while cooking. Warm spice flavor and a bit of sweetness in the sauce. Served with orzo and a orange/red onion/tomato salad it was a lovely Saturday night dinner. Would make great food for dinner with friends.

  • sfg | 11/12/2007

    Very good and very quick to put together.

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