Cumin Spiced Lamb with Red Peppers


Main Course

“A Menu of Memories”

To see the entire seven course meal menu please click on the menu bar on the main blog page and click on the title of the menu -“A Menu of Memories”

This dish was inspired by a Xinjiang dish called Cumin Lamb that I found on We were very excited about this dish because even though I am a plant leaning omnivore, I cannot pass up a good lamb dish. Once, while filming a documentary in Kashmir I was graciously invited to a Wazwan, a traditional multi course meal. I was vegetarian at the time but when they presented the meal with several different dishes of lamb, I could not resist. A beautiful form of cuisine served as an ultimate expression of such a rich culture. Years later, we recreated a Kashmiri lamb dish for our holiday dinner and it was just amazing. And since that dinner we had often discussed Chinese lamb dishes but had not attempted to cook one until the opportunity presented itself with this seven course meal. It was served hot with  fluffy Jasmine Rice.

Cumin Spiced Lamb with Red Peppers

Serves 4-6 as part of a seven course meal

To Be Marinated

1 lb Lamb cut into 1 inch pieces- as for the specific cut it needs to be something lean with a little fat. Lamb shoulder? Not sure. Ask a butcher and be grateful to the lamb.

3 tsp Garam Masala- Yes, I know this is a supposed to be a Chinese inspired dish. I couldn’t resist. Use plain cumin powder if you’re irritated by my Indian ingredient.

1 tbsp Sesame Oil

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

1 tbsp Rice Wine

Place the lamb with the other ingredients in a bowl and cover. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. By hour 6 you may want to start a rice cooker (or a pot) of Jasmine Rice so that your meal is ready to go at once. And once enough time has passed, grab your wok or sautéing pan.

To Be Sautéed or Stir Fried

2 tbsp Cumin Seeds

2 tbsp Sesame Oil

1 tbsp Ginger-Finely Chopped

2 Garlic Cloves

2 Shallots

1 Large Red Pepper-sliced thin

1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes

1/4 tsp Sugar

Salt to taste

Large handful of Cilantro-chopped

2 Scallions- whites and greens please


Heat your wok or pan on high heat and dry roast the cumin seeds until they start to perfume the space around you. Don’t burn them. Then this would be Burnt Seed Spiced Lamb. Once they’re roasted then take them out of the wok. Be careful, its hot. Then coat your wok (or pan-you get the picture) with oil and let it heat up. Then add your ginger, garlic and shallots. Don’t let those burn either. So you have to quickly stir them around and just let them brown just a bit and let your kitchen start to smell like a happy home. Now throw in the marinated lamb and let it brown on the outsides. Once the outside is nice and dark then throw in everything else except for the scallions. Let the cilantro just start to wilt. You don’t want to overcook the red pepper or the cilantro because they’ll lose their color and everything will just look grayish and sad. Turn off the heat and put it all into an oven proof dish and sprinkle the chopped scallions over. I heated the dish in a 200 F degree oven until the main course was ready to be served. The lamb was tender and juicy and caused much joy with the Jasmine Rice. Thank you lamb.