This recipe has been cooking for a while…..to be more precise, since January when my husband made a trip to India and Sri Lanka. And being this incredible guy, he brought me beautiful props, cookbooks and lots, lots of inspiration.
The house smelled like India for a couple weeks, in part because of his stuff, backpack, shoes, etc… and in part because I was adding curry powder to almost everything – seriously, to the point we needed a break.
But now that May is around the corner, bringing the ending of school year, increasing expectation of summer along with tons of opportunities to grill, it is time to bring this recipe back.
Let’s say this is a fusion, Indian grilled lamb with Sri Lankan mint sambol. Lamb marinated in yogurt is an old friend. If you’ve never had it, you definitely should try. But what really surprised me was this mint sambol.
Actually, Sri Lankan cuisine was an entire unknown territory to me until then. And the more I get to know, the more I like. So far what I’ve learned is no main meal is served without sambols, chutneys or pickles, little bowls packed with intense flavors intending to give an additional dimension to regular dishes.
This sambol recipe in particular comes from the book Sri Lankan Flavors by Channa Dassanayaka. I feel like apologizing for taking that long to share this incredible recipe.
Wash and dry mint leaves. Place in a food processor or mortar and pestle and grind with onion, garlic, coconut, raisins and chilli. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve with lamb skewers or keep on the fridge for up to 7 days. It is super versatile and can be used to season soups, curries or even a simple white rice.
Prepare the marinade. Toast cardamom and cumin slightly in a pan. Add nutmeg, onions, garlic, ginger and sauté until fragrant. Let it cool and ad turmeric and yogurt.
Pour the marinade over the lamb and turn to coat evenly. Marinate the lamb for 8h or overnight in the refrigerator.
Thread the lamb onto skewers and allow the excess marinade to drain away.
Pre-heat the grill to 400˚F. Grill each side for about 1 ½ minutes or until desired doneness. Top with mint sambol and serve immediately.