Dukkah Crusted Rack of Lamb with Smoked Aubergine & Warm Carrot Salad

From Ainsley’s Good Mood Food, ITV

Dukkah is a nutty spice blend from North Africa and it makes a fantastic topping for meats, fish and vegetables. I’m using it here as a delicious crust on a rack of lamb which can be cooked in the oven or on the BBQ for a fantastic outdoor feast. The smoky aubergine puree with tahini adds a real depth of flavour and the carrot salad is both warming and vibrant – this is definitely my feel good food!


Preheat oven to 200°C/180C fan.

First make the dukkah. In a dry frying pan over a medium heat toast the nuts until aromatic and lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate. Toast the sesame seeds for 30 seconds and tip onto the plate with the nuts. Toast the cumin, fennel, coriander seeds and peppercorns until aromatic and tip into a pestle and mortar and grind to a coarse powder. Put the nuts and sesame seeds into a food processor along with the spices, sumac and salt. Blitz until you have a coarse crumb (this is your dukkah). Stir through the parsley and a little drizzle of oil.

Preheat your barbecue.

Prick the aubergines a few times with the tip of a sharp knife. Place directly on the barbecue grill and cook for 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, until nicely charred and collapsing on themselves (Alternatively place directly over a gas flame for 15 minutes until charred or cook in the oven for 35-45 minutes). Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the stem of the aubergine, cut in half lengthways and scoop out all of the flesh, discarding the charred skins. Place the flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork, leaving plenty of texture.  Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice and oil and mix well. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, rub the lamb racks with a little oil and season with salt. Place fat side down over direct heat on the barbecue to sear for 2 minutes. Turn the lamb over and sear for another 2 minutes. Mix together the molasses and oil. Remove the lamb from the grill and brush with the molasses mix. Put some of the dukkah on to a flat plate or tray and press the fat-side of the lamb down on to it to coat. You may need to sprinkle over some more to cover any gaps, pressing down to help it stick. Cook the lamb, crust side up, over an indirect heat on a cooler section of the barbecue with the lid closed for 18 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. (Alternatively sear the lamb in a frying pan, add the crust and then cook in the oven at 200C/180Cfan – fat side up, for 18 minutes or until cooked to your liking).

Cover loosely with foil to keep warm and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Cook the carrots in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain well. In a dry pan over a medium heat toast the cumin seeds for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the oil and garlic and warm through for a few seconds. Turn off the heat and stir through the vinegar, paprika and parsley. Add the carrots and toss to coat.

To serve, carefully carve the lamb racks into chops, spoon some smoked aubergine onto serving plates and arrange the lamb on top with the warm carrots on the side.



  • 2 x 8 cutlet racks of lamb, trimmed (approx. 500g each)
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or honey
  • ½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • For the Dukkah
  • 20g blanched almonds
  • 20g blanched hazelnuts
  • 15g shelled pistachios
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp sumac or zest of ½ lemon
  • ¼ tsp coarse sea or rock salt
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • For the Smoked Aubergine
  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 large cloves of garlic (smoked if you have it), minced
  • 3 tbsp light tahini
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • For the Carrot Salad
  • 550g baby carrots, halved lengthways if large, tops trimmed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley