Chef's Recipes

Char-grilled lamb with green chilli and sesame sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for char-grilled lamb with green chilli and sesame sauce by George Calombaris and Shane Delia from Melbourne restaurant St Katherines.

By George Calombaris & Shane Delia
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus standing
  • Serves 8
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Char-grilled lamb with green chilli and sesame sauce


  • 2 long green chillies
  • 40 gm almonds
  • 25 gm hazelnuts
  • 15 gm sesame seeds
  • 75 ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 15 ml sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp Aleppo pepper (see note)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 12 lamb cutlets or chops, at room temperature
  • To serve: thinly sliced spring onion


  • 1
    Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat and char-grill chillies, turning occasionally, until evenly blackened (8-10 minutes), transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand to steam (15 minutes). Peel chillies, remove seeds (discard skin and seeds), thinly slice and set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Spread nuts separately on two oven trays and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned (10-15 minutes for almonds, 8-10 minutes for hazelnuts), cool, then coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, stir sesame seeds occasionally in a small frying pan over medium heat until golden (4-5 minutes), set aside to cool.
  • 4
    Combine chilli, nuts, sesame seeds, oil, vinegar, Aleppo pepper, tomato paste and garlic in a large bowl, season to taste with salt, mix to combine well, then stand until sauce changes colour and flavours develop (15-20 minutes).
  • 5
    Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat. Brush lamb lightly with oil, char-grill, turning once, until cooked to your liking (2-3 minutes each side), rest for 5 minutes, then serve hot, drizzled with green chilli and sesame sauce, scattered with spring onion.


Aleppo pepper, named after the city of Aleppo in Syria, is grown in Syria and Turkey, then dried and crushed. It’s available from select Middle Eastern grocers. If unavailable, substitute dried chilli flakes.
This recipe is from the August 2011 issue of

  • Author: George Calombaris & Shane Delia