Madras Curry-Spiced Lamb Chops


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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Appears in

Champions of Sous Vide: A Collection of Favorite Recipes from Two Dozen Sous Vide All-Stars

Champions of Sous Vide

By Mike La Charite and Jason Logsdon

Published 2019

  • About
Cooks: 134°F (56.6°C) for 3 to 4 hours

Recipe by Justice Stewart, Executive Chef, International Sous Vide Association

“Madras curry” gets its name from the city known as Madras when English merchants arrived there; it is now known as Chennai. Although it uses Indian spices, the term Madras is not used in India. In fact,”Madras curry” was invented by Britain’s Bangladeshi restaurants in the 1970’s. There are many variations of it but I chose to create a bit of spicy version for this recipe (heavy on cayenne). You will end up with a little over 2 cups of this seasoning, which you can seal in a container for later use.


For the Curry Seasoning

  • 8 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 8 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 8 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (use less or more for spice level)

For the Lamb Chops

  • 8 4-ounce lamb rib chops (907 g)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

For the Chickpeas with Spinach

  • 3 tablespoons ghee, 1 tablespoon separated
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red (bell) pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (425 g)
  • 7 cups fresh baby spinach


For the Curry Seasoning

First prepare the spice mix. Place the coriander, cumin, fenugreek, mustard and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over low heat. Roast the seeds gently, shaking the pan occasionally, until they begin to pop. When about half the seeds have popped, add the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, ginger and cayenne. Continue to heat and stir gently until the mixture gets hot; be careful not to burn. Pour into a dry herb blender, food processor or mortar and pestle. Grind into a powder. Let the mixture cool, then transfer to an airtight container after you use it and store in a dry place for up to 6 months.

For the Lamb Chops

Coat the lamb chops with a light coating of the oil, then season generously with the Madras curry powder, cover and place into the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. When the lamb is ready, preheat the sous vide bath to 134°F (56.6°C). Season the lamb with salt and vacuum seal them in a single layer (use 2 bags if you need to) and place into the sous vide bath for 3-4 hours. During the last 20 minutes of cooking the lamb, prepare the spinach.

For the Chickpeas with Spinach

Heat the 2 tablespoons of the ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the shallots and bell peppers for 5-7 minutes until softened. Add the cumin seeds and garam masala and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the chickpeas and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Begin to add the spinach, in stages, adding more as the leaves begin to wilt. Stir in the rest of the ghee and season with salt and pepper, then cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep it warm and set it aside.

To Finish

Take the lamb chops from the sous vide bath, remove them from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. At this time you can season with a bit more curry if you prefer. Pour the remaining grapeseed oil into a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Sear the lamb chops 2-3 minutes per side until a crust forms then remove from the pan. On four plates, add to each some of the spinach/chickpea mixture, 2 lamb chops, and garnish with cilantro and serve.

To Finish

  • ¼ cup cilantro, for garnish