Lamb Burra Kebab

July 22, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Olivia Bloch. Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

In India and Pakistan, mustard oil is traditionally used for burra kebab, owing to its inherently smoky flavor profile. You should be able to find it in most Indian grocery stores, and also at specialty stores like Kalustyan’s. I tested this recipe with sesame oil as a replacement but found it to be far too overpowering. Extra-virgin olive oil and neutral oils such as canola and grapeseed oil work for this recipe, too, but the kebab’s flavor won’t be as pronounced. Most chain supermarkets french the ribs for you, so chances are that you won’t have to do it yourself. In any case, here’s a stellar paring knife I’d recommend.

This pairs splendidly with naan, of course, but on a hot summer day, also with most salads (think slaws, a watermelon salad with fistfuls of crumbled feta and mint), even cornbread. Serve with lemonade, a tall glass of lager, or a dry Riesling.
Mehr Singh

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: A Fractured Relationship—& the Kebab That Filled the Cracks. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 rack of lamb chops, frenched and separated (1½ pounds lamb rib chops, bone-in)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 serrano peppers (optional; you can also deseed these)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil (you could use EVOO or a neutral oil like canola instead, but the flavor won’t be as pronounced)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more for serving
  • To serve
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • White or red onions, cut into rings (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional)
  1. French the rack of lamb, if it isn’t already frenched, with a paring knife or a frencher. You should have 7 or 8 chops that you can place in a bowl.
  2. Combine the salt, spices, serrano peppers, garlic, and ginger in a food processor. Pulse into a smooth paste. Add the Greek yogurt and pulse until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Slowly stream in the oil and lemon juice and pulse for a few more seconds until it's incorporated.
  3. Pour the marinade over the lamb chops and, using your fingers, massage it evenly over the chops for 30 seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a silicone lid and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 9 hours.
  4. Heat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the middle. Grease a 12x15” or larger rimmed baking sheet and space the chops out on it evenly, fat side down. Pour any excess marinade over the chops. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375°F until cooked through, then broil on the middle rack on the highest setting for an additional 10 minutes (without flipping).
  5. Prepare the yogurt dip for serving. Gently stir the Greek yogurt in a bowl with salt, pepper, honey, and a light squeeze of lemon juice. Refrigerate.
  6. Remove the chops from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes. Brush an electric grill with a neutral oil such as canola, vegetable, or grapeseed oil and heat to 425°F.
  7. Place the chops on the grill for about 2 minutes on either side or until char begins to appear. Take off and let chops rest for 3 to 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a grill, you can broil the chops on the highest setting for an additional 10 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.)
  8. Spoon your yogurt dip over a large serving platter or plate, creating decorative swirls. Drizzle a generous amount of EVOO on top. Sprinkle over with onion, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds (if using).
  9. Place the lamb chops over this and garnish with more cilantro. Serve the chops by themselves, with a salad, or with a flatbread such as naan.

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