Ainsley Harriott’s chargrilled sumac lamb cutlets with tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is traditionally a Levantine dish that’s become popular all over the Mediterranean. In Jordan and around the Middle East it’s usually served as part of a mezze, but here I’m serving it as a herby, fresh-tasting salad to complement the zesty lamb. The herbs are the star of this salad. Sumac grows wild in Jordan and is used to give meat, fish, vegetables and dips a tangy lemon flavour. This dish is also great for a barbecue − just cook the chops on the hot grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking.

Ainsley Harriott sumac lamb
Dan Jones


3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sumac
good pinch of dried chilli flakes
zest of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8-12 lamb cutlets (depending on size)


100g bulgur wheat, cooked according to packet instructions
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
drizzle of honey
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red chilli, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 tbsp natural yogurt
1 small garlic clove, grated
juice of . lemon
pinch of sumac
1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 red chilli, finely sliced
lemon wedges

1. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, sumac, chilli flakes and lemon zest then season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb cutlets and toss to make sure they are well coated. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the tabbouleh. Place all of the ingredients except the seasoning in a bowl and stir to combine. Season to taste.

3. Heat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the lamb for 4-5 minutes on each side. Once cooked, set the lamb aside to rest for a couple of minutes.

4. To make the dressing, put the yogurt in a small bowl with the garlic, lemon juice and sumac then whisk in enough water to make a smooth dressing. Stir through the mint, season to taste and set aside.

5. Serve the lamb chops on top of the tabbouleh with a good drizzle of the dressing. Scatter over the sliced chilli and serve lemon wedges on the side.

Get 20 per cent off the book

Ainsley's Mediterranean CookbookAinsley’s Mediterranean Cookbook by Ainsley Harriott will be published on 26 March by Ebury Press, price £20. To preorder a copy for £16 with free p&p until 5 April, go to or call 01603 648155.