{recipe} Seared Lamb Chops with Broiled Figs and Toasted Cumin Raita

For a blog that has the word “meat” so prominently in the title, I am chagrined to report that I only have two lamb recipes (other than this one) so far. That is pathetic! But this lamb offering is pretty fantastic, so I’m hoping it makes up for the paucity of lamb recipes overall with its individual deliciousness.

Although this is actually pretty easy to make, and only involves seven ingredients total, it is something I would categorize a “fancy recipe.” That is to say, it is a recipe that seems fancy on the plate because it has specific garnishes. Also because you have to toast the cumin as a whole separate step, which only takes like 30 seconds but is definitely a special touch. And don’t even think about skipping the toasting, either. It makes a big difference.

If you’re a cilantro hater, don’t freak out about the raita recipe: either substitute finely chopped curly parsley for it or just skip the cilantro part altogether. Also, if you’re a cucumber lover, and feel the need to express something like “but it’s not really authentic raaaaaiiiita because there are no cuuuucuuuumbers” then I would like to say two things: 1) cucumbers are so gross, and 2) SO. GROSS.

Also if you don’t like figs or don’t have any or have fig-o-phobia or something, they are not strictly necessary, either, but they are kind of nice to have on the plate.

Recipe: Seared Lamb Chops with Broiled Figs and Toasted Cumin Raita
serves 4


  • 12-16 small lamb chops (3 or 4 per person, depending on size)
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tblsp cumin seeds
  • 6-8 oz. whole fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • about 12 fresh figs
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • About an hour before serving, take the lamb chops out of the refrigerator to bring closer to room temperature.
  • Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add cumin seeds and cook about 30 to 60 seconds, until cumin is fragrant and dark brown. Remove from heat and cool about 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, shallots, and a large pinch of salt. Pour in the cumin and the oil and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out to sit until serving time.
  • 20 minutes before serving, season the lamb chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Then, turn on the broiler in your oven. Cut the figs in half and place them on a foil-covered sheet pan, cut side up. Broil 3-5 minutes until bubbling and browned around the edges. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside.
  • 10 minutes before serving, heat the remaining 2 tsp olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron saute pan over the highest possible heat. Use a brush to distribute the oil in the pan, if necessary. Add the lamb chops and cook about 2 minutes on the first side, then flip over and cook about 1-2 more minutes on the second side. Remove from heat and allow to rest 5-6 minutes in the pan.
  • Serve the lamb chops with the raita and the broiled figs – maybe with a carrot salad or some basmati rice, too.


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