Mitzismezze · Recipes

Persian Style Lamb with Almond Tarator

My Persian style lamb is really easy to make and the saffron in the marinade is key to this dish. Iran has some of the best quality saffron in the world and its worth buying a really good quality brand. For this recipe, I like to leave the lamb overnight, covered in the fridge to marinade. I always used lamb chops before but this time I am trying the leaner lamb escallops. The recipe is essentially the same just a little longer cooking for the chops. Greg Malouf’s recipe for almond tarator goes really well with lamb and I think it’s a super accompaniment for this dish.  I have taken his recipe straight from the New Middle Eastern food cookbook but I swapped champagne vinegar for white wine vinegar and halved the quantities. Serves 3-4.



6 loin lamb chop or lamb escallops

250g of natural yogurt

2 onions – quartered

4 cloves of garlic – peeled

1 lemon – strips of peel and juiced

1 tbsp. of olive oil

Pinch of saffron threads

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

125g of blanched almonds

2 cloves of garlic – peeled

1/2 tsp. of salt

1/2 lemon – juiced

25ml of white wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp. of honey

2 egg yolks

260ml of olive oil

50-75ml of lukewarm water



Season the lamb chops really well with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.  In a food processor, blend the yogurt, onions, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Dissolve the ground saffron in the hot water. Add the saffron mixture to your food processor and continue to blend until sauce is yellow. Place the lamb in a suitable container. Pour the marinade on the lamb, mixing to fully coat and cover. Leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours but I prefer overnight. Preheat the oven to 200c or 180c (fan). Remove lamb from fridge and allow to reach room temperature while waiting for the oven to preheat. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Remove the lamb from the marinade and sear. cooking for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the lamb to a baking tray, roast for 8 minutes if using escallops or 10 minutes for chops, turning half-way. Cook for a few minutes longer if medium rare is not your preference.

While the lamb is cooking, blitz the almonds in a food processor until roughly crushed to begin the tarator. Add the garlic paste, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and egg yolks and blitz until smooth and creamy. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in about half the oil, followed by half the water to loosen and stabilise the mixture. Slowly drizzle in the rest of the oil to form a thick, creamy mayonnaise — add a little more water if it is too thick. Season with pepper and check for salt — you may need to add a little more. To give the tarator a smoother, finer texture, you can process it in a blender on high for a few minutes

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