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Spice crusted lamb loin with mint and chestnuts



  • 1 rack of lamb, deboned
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) chili flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Chestnut puree:

  • 7 ounces (200 g) roasted, peeled chestnuts
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
  • 2 heads of roasted garlic
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) olive oil
  • Salt

Mint yogurt:

  • 3 bunches mint, leaves only
  • 2 cups (470 ml) Greek yogurt (needs to be a stiff, low moisture yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground coriander
  • Shishito peppers, blistered in a cast iron pan with oil and salt, to garnish


  1. For the lamb, pre-heat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a mortar, crush fennel, coriander, cumin, and chili until a coarse powder forms. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Rub lamb with olive oil and roll in spice mixture.
  4. Sear over high heat until evenly browned, then transfer to oven for three to four minutes to finish to an internal temperature of 130°F (54°C) for medium rare. Rest for five to seven minutes.
  5. For the chestnut puree, add milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chestnuts and roasted garlic, and simmer for eight to 10 minutes, until chestnuts are starting to soften.
  6. Transfer mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth, then stream in the olive oil. Season with salt and reserve.
  7. For the spiced yogurt, add mint, yogurt, cayenne, cumin, coriander, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth and transfer to a squeeze bottle.
  8. To serve, lay a spoonful of spiced yogurt onto the serving dish/dishes and hit with the back of the spoon to make an artful splash. Add small dollops of chestnut puree around the plate. 
  9. Slice the rested loin into 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick portions, seasoning the cut side with finishing salt. Transfer neatly to the serving dish/dishes.
  10. Garnish with shishito pepper.