Zaatar lamb with preserved lemon houmous

Lamb chops with a twist
Ryan Riley's za'atar lamb with lemon humus recipe
3 ratings
Recipe by: Ryan Riley | Chef

This mix of herbs, spices and textures create an intriguing meal full of flavour. Plus, the chickpeas give the dish a good source of fibre!

This is from Ryan Riley’s booklet of recipes to help people living with cancer enjoy food again. See all our recipes for people living with cancer.

Recipe for people living with cancer



  • 16 small new potatoes
  • For the houmous:
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice, plus extra to taste if necessary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons zaatar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the lamb:
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon zaatar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 lamb chops
  • Small bunch fresh mint leaves, torn
  • Small handful pomegranate seeds, to serve
40 minutes

Nutrition information (per serving)

5 A DAY:

Note: Note: Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice and Sumac is a dried red spice traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking

  1. Put the potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water, place on a high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15–20 minutes, or until soft when pushed with a fork.
  2. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the chickpeas then place the remainder in a food processor. Add the remaining houmous ingredients, except the seasoning, and whizz to a fine puree. Season to taste and adjust the lemon acidity as needed. If the houmous isn't smooth add in a couple of tablespoons of water and blend again.
  3. Mix together the spices and oil for the lamb. Coat the chops with the seasoned oil then lightly season with black pepper.
  4. In a dry frying pan, lay the chops away from you and cook on a medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side, until browned and just cooked through. Remove the lamb from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to rest, leaving the juices in the pan.
  5. Tip the tablespoon of reserved chickpeas into the pan with the lamb juices and fry over a high heat until the chickpeas are crispy.
  6. Spread the houmous on a large plate, top with the rested lamb chops, and sprinkle over the crispy chickpeas, torn mint and pomegranate.
Serve with a portion of steamed vegetables or a green salad.