The classic is made with cucumber and mint.
A great accompaniment to your summer barbecue or supper.
I introduced Quark in a previous recipe : 0% fat Quark lemon mousse cake with rhubarb
I find it works better for the raita as the water content is much smaller.
Please bear in mind that the lamb will need to marinade for at least 20 minutes; but this can be done overnight.
Preparation : 30 mins
Cooking time : 15 mins
Difficulty : Very easy
What will you need for 2 to 4 servings :- 1 rack of lamb or 6 to 8 lamb cutlets
- 1 to 2 red chillies
- A couple of sprigs of thyme
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cucumber
- 2 tbsp plain Quark from the Lake District Company
- A couple of sprigs of mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sides :
- A few baby potatoes
- 200g to 250g broad beans, fresh or frozen but podded
1. If not already done so by the butcher, French-trim the lamb (Scrape the bones clean and remove the top layer of fat). This is optional but the meat will look more appetising on the plate, and the lamb less fatty
2. If you are using a rack of lamb, chop into cutlets. A rack of lamb is between 6 to 8 cutlets. Place the chops on a plate or dish, ready to be marinated
3. Prepare the red chillies : Cut the top and bottom off the chillies and chop in halves lengthwise
4. Remove the seeds and chop in long batons (strips)
5. Gather the strips together and chop into very small cubes. The finer you will cut the chillies, the more flavour will come out of them
6. Sprinkle the chilly pieces over the lamb on both side and press a little with the bottom of your palm
7. Pick the thyme and sprinkle over the cutlets. Again, press the herbs into the flesh with your hands
8. Pour the olive oil over the cutlets and leave to marinade for at least 20 minutes. Turning the meat over half way through. Cover and reserve in the fridge if you are marinating the chops for longer than 20 minutes or cover and reserve until ready to cook otherwise. In any case, take the meat out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
9. Prepare the Raita : Cut the cucumber in halves lengthwise
10. Scrape the seeds out with a spoon
11. Grate the cucumber with the coarse side of a cheese grater or in the food processor
12. Take the cucumber shavings in your hand and press to extract the extra moisture
13. Mix the cucumber with the Quark and season with salt and pepper.
14. Pick the mint leaves and chop. Add the mint to the cucumber mixture. Cover and reserve on the side until ready to serve
15. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size and until you can easily run a toothpick through.
16. If you are using fresh broad beans, remove them from the hard-shell.
17. Meanwhile, cook the broad beans in salted boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. You can peel the secondary skin of the broad beans easily once they are cooked by pressing them out of their shell. This is optional but will look much better on the plate, revealing the vivid green colour of the peeled beans.
18. As soon as the beans are ready, scrape the chillies and thyme from the lamb cutlets with the back of a knife. Heat some oil in a frying pan and pan-sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Alternatively, you can cook these on the barbecue
Disclaimer : I was sent some free samples of Quark to evaluate and maybe create a recipe. All opinions are my own and the post has not been sponsored by the Lake District Company