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 served as part of a mezze, but 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 provides a tangy lemon flavour to meat, fish, vegetables or dips. 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.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook


In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, sumac, chilli flakes and lemon zest and 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.

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

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.

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

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



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • a good pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 8–12 lamb cutlets (depending on size)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Tabbouleh
  • 100g bulgur wheat, cooked according to the packet instructions
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • a large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a drizzle of honey
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Dressing
  • 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • a pinch of sumac
  • 1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To Serve
  • 1 red chilli
  • finely sliced lemon wedges