This is another simple way to re-spin my favourite basic peanut sauce, this time teaming it with some juicy lamb cutlets or chops. Simply reheat the sauce if you’ve pre-made it, or have some left over from another recipe, and spoon over the lamb when it’s cooked.
8 lamb cutlets or chops, about 2cm (¾ inch) thick
1 quantity Peanut Sauce
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil or groundnut oil
2.5cm (1-inch) piece fresh root ginger, finely grated (unpeeled if organic)
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
a few roughly chopped roasted peanuts
sprinkle of finely sliced spring onion
Place the lamb cutlets or chops in a dish. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, pour over the lamb and rub the mixture thoroughly into the meat, coating it all over. If you have time, cover the dish with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce, or reheat it if you have pre-made a batch.
Take the lamb out of the fridge and leave it to return to room temperature for a few minutes while you heat a griddle pan over a high heat until very hot. Add the lamb cutlets or chops – they should sizzle on contact – and then reduce the heat slightly. Cook the meat without disturbing it (see Tip below), allowing it to sear evenly and obtain even griddle marks, then flip and repeat. (If you move the meat around during the cooking process, it will be likely to stick to the pan and won’t cook evenly.)
Remove the lamb from the pan and leave to rest for 1 minute before transferring to warmed serving plates. Pour 1–2 tablespoons of the peanut sauce over each of the cutlets or chops, then add a little garnish of chopped roasted peanuts and finely sliced spring onion. Serve with rice and Simple Fried Plantain (see page 42), with a green salad on the side.
TIP Cooking times for the lamb cutlets will vary depending on their thickness. As a guide, cook for 2–3 minutes if you want your meat pink or 4–5 minutes if you prefer it well-done.
MAKES 850–900ML (ABOUT 1½ PINTS)
My ultimate childhood comfort food – I absolutely love this sauce! And here’s a way to fast-forward a few steps to reach the desired result faster.
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon extra-hot chilli powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
1 red Scotch Bonnet chilli, pierced
3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
500ml (18fl oz) uncooked Chalé Sauce (see page 247)
500ml (18fl oz) good-quality vegetable stock (you can use chicken or beef stock if
adding the sauce to a meat dish)
100–200g (3½–7oz) organic peanut butter, depending on how thick you want the sauce
8 green kpakpo shito (cherry) chillies, or substitute green habanero chillies
Heat the groundnut oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and sauté over a medium
heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the chilli powder and curry powder, then add the garlic, ginger, Scotch Bonnet, crushed peanuts, sea salt and black pepper and stir well – lots of punchy aroma should be rising from the pot at this point.
Stir in the chalé sauce and vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes.
Add the peanut butter 1 tablespoon at a time, while stirring, until it has all dissolved, then use a stick blender to blend all the ingredients to a smooth consistency.
Add the whole kpakpo shito chillies to the sauce and leave to simmer over a low heat for at least a further 30 minutes before serving, or leave to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, freeze for future use. You can then simply reheat as much sauce as needed at the time as a side dip, or create a soup by adding diced yams and plantain or cooking meat in the sauce for a more substantial meal.
TIP I often leave the peanut sauce to simmer for up to 2 hours so that the flavours really infuse, but 30–40 minutes is good enough.
Photo credit: Nassima Rothacker
Book credit: Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh is published by Mitchell Beazley £25 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk). You can buy the book here in Australia and here in the UK.
Zoe's Ghana Kitchen was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Food and Travel Book of the Year. 2018
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