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Inspired Indian home cooking.

Beyond Curry: Crispy Indian-Style Simmered Goat or Lamb Chops

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[Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

In India, goat is widely used and loved, and few things make me happier than a crunchy, juicy cut of it. Well, alright goat biryani is a close contender. And sometimes goat xacuti, or minced goat with green peas, or goat dhansak...Okay, let's start over. Goat makes me happy. And this dish is high up on my list of go-to preparations.

This particular dish is Anglo-Indian in origin. It envelops the tender meat in fresh breadcrumbs that turn crisp and crunchy as soon as they touch the sizzling hot pan. You can use lamb in its place if you prefer, but if can get your hands on some goat meat, it's well worth it. I love the way the spices here, though minimal, permeate the meat and lie like a pleasant surprise under the layer of breading.

Unlike most breaded chop or cutlet recipes out there, which tenderize the meat into flat sheets and then send 'em off to the pan, this one calls for slow-cooking the chops first and frying them later. The result is melt-in-your-mouth-tender and delicately spiced meat that makes a wonderful contrast to the firm crunchiness of the breading. You'll also wind up with a flavorful stock that can be served as a clear soup or frozen into cubes and added to curries and pilafs. You can cook the lamb or goat ahead of time and fry the chops just before serving, but don't blame me if the aroma of the spices, ginger, and garlic prove too difficult to resist. You could have it as a side to a full-fledged Indian meal or by itself with coriander chutney, a creamy yogurt garlic dip, and some potato wedges.

About the author: Denise Dsilva Sankhe is a writer & creative director by profession. But that's only when she isn't eating her way across India. She recreates this delicious cuisine in her Mumbai home, which she shares with her husband, who has long since given up his determination to have salads for dinner.

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