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Lamb Chops Braised with Nuts

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup slivered pistachios
6 large garlic cloves
one-inch piece fresh ginger
1 tsp coriander
5 green cardamom pods, husked
1 fresh hot green chile
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp royal (black) cumin, or regular-cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 cup water
3 lamb rib chops, 4 ounces-each, trimmed of all fat
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp saffron threads, dissolved-in 2 tablespoons hot water
salt (optional)
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro or-parsley

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy pan over medium-high
heat. Add almonds and pistachios; cook, stirring, until light brown,
about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Combine the garlic, ginger, coriander, cardamom, chili, peppercorns,
cloves, cumin, mace and water in a blender and blend to form a
smooth paste. Arrange lamb in a large shallow dish. Rub the spice
mixture over both sides of lamb. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy skillet over
medium-high heat. Add lamb and brown well on both sides. Add 1/4
cup of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and
simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining water; sprinkle in saffron.
Cover and cook until lamb is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste, and
add salt, if needed. Stir in peas and cook 5 minutes longer.
Sauce should be very thick. Transfer lamb to a heated platter.
Stir sauce and pour over lamb. Top with fried nuts and cilantro.


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