Spice Crusted Lamb Loin, Indian Potatoes and a Moilee-Tomato Sauce.

Spice Crusted Lamb Loin, Indian Potatoes and a Moilee-Tomato Sauce.

I was just discussing with my wife that you never find beef dishes with Indian Spices. I know  because of religious origins, the cow being a sacred animal and all, but I still eat it so why not use it with some Indian spicing. It’s an earthy enough meat that it will be robust enough to stand up with the spices. Beef loves star anises so I’m busy conjuring up an aniseed/fennel spicing dish. This, therefore, will be my last lamb spiced dish for a while. My inspiration comes from a crusted rack of lamb. I love a rack of lamb, but I hate the waste and hassle of the rack, even when I’m eating it. So I decided to use the loin only again and because this it enables me to wrap the entire piece of meat with the crust. A Moilee is a very simple coconut based sauce from Kerala.

The spice crust is a little bit of effort, the rest of the dish though is very straight forward with impressive results.[purerecipe]


  • Loin from a 6 rib rack, cut into 150g per person. Lamb loin
  • Spice Crust

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 Cardamom Pods
  • 15g Chilli
  • 2 Tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Stalks
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2-3 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
  • Moilee Toamto Suce

  • 1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Tsp Ginger
  • 1 Chilli
  • 1, Chopped Shallot
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 200ml Coconut milk
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Tsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped. Coriander
  • Potatoes

  • 500g, boiled and cut into cubes. New Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Spinach to serve


  1. Dry roast the spices for the crust, then grind or blend to get them as fine as possible. Don't worry too much about a few larger bits. Mix with the coriander stalks and butter and stir well. Add the breadcrumbs to make a thick paste. Spread this out to make a large rectangle about 5mm thick. Place in the fridge to harden.
  2. Seal the lamb loins in a hot pan for 30secs a side. Let cool, then cut out squares of the crust and wrap around as best you can. 
  3. To make the moilee, heat the mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Add the garlic, ginger, shallot and chilli and cook for a few minutes. Then add the turmeric for 30secs. Now add the tomato puree followed by the coconut milk, tomatoes, coriander and some seasoning. Simmer for 10mins.
  4. Add the lamb to the oven at 180°c and roast for 12-15mins. 12mins should be medium rare.
  5. Whilst the lamb is in the oven, heat some veg oil in a pan and put all the potatoes and spices in the pan once hot. Cook over a medium heat so the spices cook out and some of the potatoes get a little crispy. Season well with salt and pepper.
To serve, make a round of spinach in the centre of a plate, carefully put the potatoes on top and finish with the lamb. Spoon the moilee sauce around. 
Serve with a good Gerwurztraminer or a Kingfisher Beer


  1. Sounds delicious and looks beautiful. Do you bone out the loin yourself or do you have a butcher do it for you?

  2. This is a dish that really talks to me – and this will go on file.
    Wonderful in colors and great presentation. No playing around with decoration – you have let the lamb talk for itself. Fantastic job.

  3. Gorgeous presentation Dave, again! I’ve only recently begun to enjoy lamb, but my husband loves it, and it does go very well to the warm spices!

    • Dave Crichton

      I’m beginning to fall in love with lamb as its so versatile. It’s just difficult to get lean tender cuts though. My other best lamb dish is a slow roast leg, heaven in the cold winter days.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous to begin with! The spice crust looks delicious and different. The tomato sauce is intriguing with puree and coconut milk. And the potatoes are perfect. The lamb is incredible!! What a wonderful meal : )

  5. Beautiful presentation and the flavors and the textures I know would be amazing in this dish. I think your spice crust would work on some many other mains as well like chicken, tofu and fish. Sounds delicious! Take Care, BAM

  6. It looks beautiful. I love the colours and I’d love to give this a try.

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Caroline, it will be a doddle for you to knock up. I love the initial photo of your trophy from Dining in the Dark, its looks enormous until the final photo and you realise it is only two inches high.

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  8. Show stopper is right! I gotcha on Twitter =)

  9. Your recipe is very similar to a famous Vineet Bhatia recipe, is that where you got the idea?

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Chris, I actually googled a Canarian “Mole” sauce, and found this sauce instead. There were a few moilee sauces that came up. I cooked one for chicken moilee, but saw a photograph of Vineets dish and used the presentation as a guide.

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  11. Hi, this looks a beautiful dish, going to try it tomorrow. Not an experienced cook just want to check the chilli for the crust. Is it 150g of chillies cut up or is the quantity different ?

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Paul, that is a great question. A rather bad place for a typo! It should be 15g, basically one big chilli you get from the supermarkets. I’ll edit the post now.

      Thanks for spotting it.


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