• Recipe by Thulisa Martins

    This recipe of spicy plum lamb chops is perfect for the oven grill and even better suited to put on the braai. You can make the recipe as spicy as you like so take note of the chilli in the ingredients list below. Don’t miss the chance to make a dish that your family just won’t forget!

    Spicy plum lamb chops

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 1 hour


    • Spicy plum sauce
    • 4 onions, diced
    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • 10ml (2 tsp) ground cumin
    • 240g brown sugar
    • 100g tamarind paste
    • 4 star anise
    • 50g ginger, freshly grated
    • 16 small plums, peeled, pitted and chopped, or 200ml preservativefree plum sauce (I recommend Clarks Original Sticky Plum Sauce. See clarksoriginals.co.za for stockists)
    • 20ml (4 tsp) Worcestershire sauce (optional)
    • juice of 3 lemons
    • 2 fresh red chillies, thinly sliced
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) soya sauce
    • Lamb chops
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 1kg rack of lamb
    • olive oil, to fry
    • Garnish
    • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
    • zest of 3 lemons
    • small handful sugar snap peas
    • small handful pea shoots
    • small handful bird’s eye chillies (optional)



    For the spicy plum sauce, bring the onions, water, garlic, cumin, sugar, tamarind paste and star anise to a boil in a large saucepan, then turn down the heat and simmer, 30 minutes. Add the ginger, plums or plum sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and chillies and cook for a further 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    Strain the sauce, using a large sieve, while pressing the plums with a wooden spoon to get as much fluid out as possible. Stir the soya sauce into the strained sauce.


    For the lamb chops, season the rack of lamb with salt and pepper and brown in a little olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat, 2 minutes on each side. Cut into lamb cutlets and baste with the spicy plum sauce. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast in the oven, 8 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium, 12 – 15 minutes for well done. Baste generously halfway through the cooking time.


    Let the lamb rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with lemon wedges, lemon zest, peas, pea shoots and whole chillies, if desired. Drizzle with marinade juices from the roasting pan.


    This dish is great served with garlic-butter vegetables of your choice. The sticky plum sauce can also be used as a marinade for chicken wings and lamb or pork ribs.