Tis the season to be BBQing……tra la la la la, tra la la laaa!  Spice up your barbie with this emmalicious Middle Eastern inspired dish.  Succulent and tender marinated lamb cutlets and chargrilled eggplant on a bed of orange scented cous cous, oozing with natural yoghurt and topped with an aromatic onion, parsley and sumac pickle.  Puts the old charred lamb loinees to shame!  Shame, I tell you!!

Prep time: 30 minutes          Cooking time:  15 minutes            $$ Medium Budget

Serves 4

8-12 lamb cutlets, depending on the size

2 tsp of cumin seeds

2 tsp of coriander seeds

1 tsp of turmeric

3cm piece of ginger, grated

2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup of olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

1 large eggplant, sliced into 1cm rounds

Greek style natural yoghurt to serve

For the Pickle:

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced thinly

2 tsp of ground sumac*

1/2 a cup of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbs of red wine vinegar

Sea salt and Pepper

For the Cous Cous:

11/2 cups of cous cous

11/2 cups of boiling chicken stock

Orange rind of 1 orange

2 tbs of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Sea salt and pepper

Heat a small frypan and lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan until aromatic.  Allow to cool slightly and then pop them in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and grind to a fine powder.  (You can use already ground spices if you wish).  Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemon juice and oil, season with salt and pepper and mix to a nice paste.  Pour the marinade over the lamb cutlets in a lined baking tray and massage into the cutlets.  Cover with cling wrap or foil and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes but for up to 24 hours if you wish.

Brush the eggplant slices with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.   Place the onion, sumac, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar in a bowl.  Toss well to combine and season.  Cover with cling wrap and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Pour the cous cous into a large bowl.  Grate in the orange rind and pour in the boiling stock.  Season and cover with cling wrap.  Leave for five minutes before popping in the parsley and fluffing with a fork.

Heat your BBQ grill to nice and hot.  Cook the eggplant on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until tender and caramelised.  Set aside and keep warm.  Cook the lamb cutlets for 4 minutes on each side for medium rare.  Allow to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

I served this in the centre of the table and everyone helped themselves.  If you would like to dish it up, place a couple of the lamb cutlets on top of a large spoonful of cous cous.  Fold a couple of pieces of eggplant and arrange them neatly next to the cutlets.  Top with a delicious dollop of greek yoghurt and pile on the onion pickle, making sure to drizzle around some of the juices.  I also served this with the