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    This lamb dish is one of the oldest recorded recipes in South African cuisine. Tamarind was used for medicinal purposes as well as to add acidity to food (until vinegar was introduced). It has a sweet/sour taste and its spices are very evocative of Indonesian cuisine.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes to 35 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes to 50 minutes 50 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 3 Large onions, sliced
    • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
    • 5 Garlic cloves, sliced
    • 5 Allspice berries
    • 6 Cloves
    • 2 Bay leaves
    • 18 Lamb cutlets
    • 4 tbsp Tamarind paste
    • 1 tsp Grated nutmeg
    • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
    • 3 Red chillies, finely chopped
    • 6 Rosemary sprigs
    • Pineapple, Mango and Red Chilli Salsa
    • 1 Red chilli, deseeded and chopped
    • 200g Pineapple, peeled and finely diced
    • 200g Mango, peeled and finely diced
    • A squeeze Lime juice


    1. Put the onions and oil in a wide saucepan or large casserole; scatter over the garlic, allspice, cloves and bay leaves. Arrange the cutlets on top and grind over plenty of black pepper.
    2. Mix the tamarind paste with 200ml boiling water and pour over. Add the nutmeg, a pinch of salt and the sugar. Cover the saucepan with a tightly fitting lid and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes.
    3. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes until the meat is tender. Add the chopped chillies, seeding them first if you’re not keen on too much heat.
    4. To make the salsa, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together. Serve the chops, garnished with rosemary sprigs, with the salsa.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The bright flavours of this South African classic demand a wine partner that isn’t too serious.


    Average user rating

    5 stars