Recipe for peace: Mint and cumin-spiced lamb chops (MIDDLE EAST)

As part of our Recipes for Peace series, each week we feature an inspiring dish to celebrate the varied - and tasty - ways in which food can play a role in building peace. 

This week’s recipe comes from Anissa Helou – an established cookbook author, teacher and chef. She was born in Beirut to a Syrian father and a Lebanese mother, and has a particular interest in the food of the Levant.

Anissa Helou's mint and cumin-spiced lamb chops recipe (MIDDLE EAST)

Anissa contributed this delicious and manageable recipe for our Conflict Kitchen London – an innovative pop-up championing the idea of peace through food that launched in September 2014 during the Talking Peace Festival.

The dish was served on the weekend around UN International Peace Day at a rooftop bar in East London, where the pop-up took on a special Middle Eastern grill theme. Yotam Ottolenghi and Claudia Roden also contributed recipes for the event, which inspired people to find out more about the prospects for peace and culture of the region. 

Ingredients for 8 people

  • 2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout or garam masala
  • Kosher salt
  • 24 untrimmed lamb rib chops (about 5 pounds)
  • Vegetable oil (for grilling)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, quartered

Cooking instructions

  • Pulse onions, cilantro, parsley, mint, cumin, paprika, allspice, red pepper flakes, and ras-el-hanout in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt.
  • Place lamb in a large dish and rub with this spice mixture. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate. Grill lamb to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let it rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
  • Do Ahead: Lamb can be marinated 12 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

You can find out more about Anissa through her blog. Follow her on twitter @anissahelou and find her on facebook.