Cucumber and Coconut Sambal with Spiced Lamb

Nuvita Biscuits

Cucumber and yoghurt is a traditional combination often served with hot and spicy meals or curries to cool the mouth and cleanse the palate of heavier flavours. This cucumber and coconut sambal has a Malaysian influence, but is traditionally served as a spicy accompaniment rather than a cool-down dish, with a small red chilli generally added to the recipe.


  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup (130g) natural yoghurt
  • 12 (about 800g) lamb cutlets
  • Steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • Naan bread, to serve

Cucumber and coconut sambal

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 cup (260g) natural yoghurt
  • 1 telegraph cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup flaked, fresh coconut
  • 1 tbs lemon juice


Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan over high heat and cook, tossing, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Transfer to a mortar with the garlic and gently pound with a pestle until crushed. Transfer to a medium glass or ceramic dish and add the ginger, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, turmeric and yoghurt and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb cutlets and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours to marinate.

To make the sambal, place the cumin and mustard seeds in a small frying pan over high heat and cook, tossing, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Combine the mustard and cumin seeds, yoghurt, cucumber, coconut and lemon juice in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the cutlets and cook for 2-3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest.

Place cutlets on serving plates. Serve with sambal, steamed rice and naan.




Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Dom L on Feb 12, 2013

    I have the right spices but am not sure how to prepare them best with diced beef. Cardamom pods, cumin, fennel, mustard seeds, paprika, ground garlic, ground coriander. And also have tomato paste, garlic, onions.
    Just checked and I have no onions :( But I have frozen finely chopped spinach that is thawing, which I will add.

  2. posted by Samuro on Mar 16, 2013

    I recently bought some cumin seeds which turned out to be damp. they still smell good, but its the dampness which is the problem. anyone know how to dry those seeds?

  3. posted by Nick on Mar 20, 2013

    Seeing as black cumin seed oil can give you abortions
    Make a woman barren? Even regular abortions can do that. You’ll need to provide some hard facts to BCS causing women to go barren.
    Why are we promoting the pill? I hope we’re not working in pill industry are we?
    “doses in excess of 20g of Black Seed”

  4. posted by Dr Hank on Mar 22, 2013

    I like to eat 40 – 50 gms of cumin seeds every day. Wee, i know that they have a pungent smell but it doesn’t affect. I know that large quantities of anything can harm us. But i have read somewhere that large quantities of cumin seeds if eaten, benefit by iron. I have heard that there’s pesticide in cumin seeds. But i eat refined and packed cumin seeds. But i eat them raw. If i tell i eat raw and cooked both then i eat 55 – 60 gms. Please i feel tensed.

  5. posted by Michael C on Mar 26, 2013

    and if I can’t find black cumin seeds can I just use regular cumin seeds?

  6. posted by Phillip123 on Mar 26, 2013

    My question is – do I need to increase the spice quantities if I’m making more servings?
    It involves cumin seeds, turmeric, garlic, 1 whole chilli and garam masala.

    I know generally you don’t need to add more chilli or garlic (or do I?)
    The dish is Khicheri:

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