12 trimmed lamb cutlets
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 large eggplant
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup tahini
2 tbsp water
2–3 tbsp thick Greek-style yoghurt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 long green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
½ tsp sambal oelek (ground chilli sambal)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Hot potato salad
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin
8 waxy potatoes, unpeeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
Tiny pinch of ground turmeric
Handful of mint leaves
Handful of coriander leaves
Handful coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Recipe by: Stephanie Alexander
Photography by: Kristoffer Paulsen
Styling: Julie Haines
Food prep: Emma Rosen
1. For the baba ghanoush: Place the eggplant on a barbeque grill over medium heat, or settle the eggplant on a rack over a moderate gas flame if cooking indoors. Gently turn eggplant every few minutes, ensuring not to break the skin, until the flesh is quite soft (10–15 minutes).
2. Lift charred eggplant onto a plate and allow to cool a little. Strip away black skin carefully with a small knife or your fingers, trying not to waste the flesh – do not discard any that looks bronze or even blackish. Avoid rinsing under a tap as you will reduce the flavour. Once peeled, split the eggplant open and remove and discard any particularly seedy sections with a sharp teaspoon, then put the flesh into a colander or non-reactive strainer resting over a bowl, and let drain for 30 minutes.
3. Chop drained flesh thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Mix crushed garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt and stir into the eggplant with the lemon juice. Season to taste. Mix the eggplant purée and tahini in a small bowl until the mixture ‘tightens’. Loosen mixture with water and stir in yoghurt. Taste and season with salt and pepper, and set aside until needed.
4. For the marinade: Combine all marinade ingredients in the small bowl of a food processor and process to a paste. Rub marinade all over cutlets and leave at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
5. For the hot potato salad: While the cutlets are marinating, heat vegetable oil in a wok or deep frying pan over high heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds, then add potato and turmeric and season with salt. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring several times. Add a splash of water to the potato if chunks are sticking – ideally they will brown and maybe break up a little.
6. When the potatoes are nearly cooked, heat an overhead griller or a chargrill pan to medium-high and cook lamb cutlets for about 3 minutes each side. Toss fresh herbs through the hot potato, then grind on some pepper and tip the hot salad onto a large serving dish. Add lamb cutlets, and serve the baba ghanoush on the side with some flatbreads, with lemon wedges to squeeze over the lamb.
Stephanie’s Note: Sambal oelek is an Indonesian spice mixture or chilli paste that typically includes garlic, ginger, lemongrass, plenty of hot chillies and a little sugar, and should be available from your nearest Asian or Indian grocery store.