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Grilled Lamb Chops crusted with Ras el Hanout Seasoning & Drenched in Garlicky Charmoula


The flavors of the Ras el Hanout on the lamb chops, that are then grilled to perfection and served with a minty lemon garlic pesto are amazing. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and roasted carrots.

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  • 8 lamb loin chops
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (use regular if you don’t have smoked)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole nutmegs
  • 10 rosebuds, dried
  • 12 Ceylon cinnamon sticks
  • 12 pieces mace, blades only
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • 2 dried chipotle peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 2 pieces galangal
  • 2 tablespoons whole gingerroot
  • 8 pieces turmeric
  • 6 cloves
  • 24 allspice berries
  • 20 green cardamom pods
  • 4 black cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons saffron threads


Servings 4
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 40mins


Step 1

Make the Ras el Hanout.

Rub the lamb with olive oil and generously coat with Ras el Hanout and salt. (If not using the ras el hanout, season generously with salt, pepper, and a little cumin.) Preheat your grill, then grill about 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Let the meat rest a few minutes before serving.

Combine all of the Charmoula ingredients in a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until a pesto-like consistency. Don’t overblend – it shouldn’t be completely liquified.

Serve the lamb chops with a generous helping of Charmoula and some fresh lemon zest. Perfect with grilled asparagus and cauliflower puree on the side.

Heat a small skillet over moderate heat. When hot, add white peppercorns, aniseed, cumin seed, coriander, cloves, and allspice berries. Stir constantly until fragrant and oils are released (only a few minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool in a separate bowl.

Husk the cardamom pods, reserving the fragrant seeds. I love the flavor of cardamom, so I use more than what Paula Wolfert recommends above.

Remove seeds and veins from dried chipotles and break apart.

Break up nutmeg in a mortar and pestle.

Once peppercorns, aniseed, cumin seed, coriander, cloves, and allspice berries have cooled, combine with remaining ingredients in a spice grinder and grind all together until fine. A coffee grinder works well, but then you will not want to grind coffee in it anymore. Even Alton Brown believes in having a separate grinder dedicated to the grinding of spices.

Sift through a strainer to remove fibers from galangale, turmeric, ginger and any pieces that just do not grind.

Store in a glass jar under refrigeration.

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