Grilled Lamb “Lollipops”

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

    , with leftovers.

Appears in

This is a California Parsi dish; we never had lamb tenderloin in Bombay. Some years ago, we were marinating lamb tenderloins in pomegranate molasses, black pepper, and some garam masala. My mother looked at the tray and beckoned me out of the kitchen with a strange grin on her face. “Niloufer, are these the lambs’. . . lollipops?” she asked. Lollipops they’ve been since then.

Lamb tenderloins are an unabashed luxury, because each lamb has only two. The recipe is simple. No ginger and garlic, no elaborate ground masala or long marinating here, because the meat is cooked quickly and the spices need to stay on the surface instead of being drawn down into the flesh. Quantities are suggested, not ironclad.

These are very good with grits or polenta and Parsi Ratatouille.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or Indian chilly powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Parsi Garam Masala
  • Liberal grinding of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 lamb tenderloins (about 1 ½ to 2 pounds)


  • To make the marinade, mix together the oil, pomegranate molasses, cayenne, garam masala, pepper, and salt. Taste for salt and cayenne. Rub the marinade into the lamb tenderloins; set aside for 1 to 2 hours, not more.
  • Prepare a coal or gas grill. Grill the tenderloins until brown and lightly crusted on the outside but still pink on the inside, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Press them to check for doneness: they should feel like the fleshy part of your thumb when it’s stretched out. For people who don’t like rare lamb, cook another minute or so. Alternatively, heat a cast-iron skillet or ridged grill pan over high heat and sear the tenderloins. Serve at once.