Tandoori Leg of Lamb Spicy Roast - 2, Mamta's
Masaledar Bakre ki Raan
Pictures by Heather Gregory
This is a dish for a festive or a special occasion! An easy dish to prepare, where a mix of spices gives the leg of lamb that extra delicate Indian flavour. It can be served with an Indian meal or as a traditional roast with a difference. My girls have always loved it served with a Yoghurt Mint Sauce and roast potatoes.
You can make it with butterflied lamb too (as shown in pictures), even on a BBQ. See instructions below from reader Heather Gregory of Australia. Serves 6
The marinade used here can also be used to cook a roast chicken.
2 kg. (approximately) whole leg of lamb*
2 large onions peeled and roughly chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled (use 1 tsp turmeric powder, if you can't find it)
2 tsp. coriander powder
2 tsp. Garam Masala
1 tsp. cumin powder
3-4 green chillies or 1-2 tsp. chilli powder
Juice of 1 large lemon or 2 tbsp. bottled lemon juice. I often use lime. Peel thick skin off with a knife and add the whole lime, and half of rind, to the blender
2 tbsp. cooking oil
A small bunch of coriander leaves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. gram flour or besan (optional, it helps to coat the leg better)
1 tbsp. mint sauce or 2 tbsp. chopped mint leaves
1 small carton or 1 cup of thick, Greek style yoghurt (or strain ordinary yoghurt through muslin)
*You can use equal amount of Lamb shanks instead of leg of lamb
Make slits in the lamb leg.
Insert garlic cloves in the slits.
Put all marinade ingredients, except yoghurt, in a blender and blend to a paste.
Add yoghurt and give a quick whizz to mix it well.
Cover the leg all over with the marinade ensuring that some enters the slits.
Leave in an airtight container in the fridge overnight or at least for 3-4 hours. If it is not covered well, the whole fridge will smell!
Put the leg in a roasting tin and cook in the centre of oven at 190C/375F/Gas 5 (175C/350F in a fan oven), for 1 1/2-2 hours, until the meat is done well enough to your taste. I cook it covered with aluminium foil for the first hour. Our family like it well cooked, the meat beginning to come off the bone a little. You can cook it less, leaving the meat a little pink.
Oven performances are different, so keep and eye after 1 1/4 hours.
How to Butterfly a leg of lamb, instructions by Heather Gregory of Australia
You can ask your butcher to butterfly the lamb, I find butchers quite like doing this sort of thing, but you can fairly easily do it yourself. Choose a short leg of lamb, the one without the extra, complicated bone at the top. Place the lamb on a large chopping board, fat-covered side down, so that the side with the bone closer to the surface and it is facing up. Then you cut through to the bone and work around the bone slowly with a small, sharp knife, e.g. a paring knife, until the bone is released. Then if necessary cut the lamb a bit more so that it lies flat and is of fairly uniform thickness. Proceed with the recipe as written, except that it is not necessary to cut slits in the lamb (as there is a very large cut surface to absorb the flavours). A few hours of marinating will be fine as the meat is much thinner. I marinate it in the morning and cook it in the evening.
Cook for an hour in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/Gas mark 6. It can also be cooked on a barbecue with a cover, in about the same time as in an oven. If you have a roasting rack for the barbecue, it would be good to use it. The only change I made to the recipe was to leave the mint/mint sauce out. I don't like mint much. It was delicious!
To make yoghurt sauce, mix 2 tbsp. of mint sauce to a carton of yoghurt. If it is too thick, dilute it to a sauce consistency with a little milk. There is no set amount to the quantities of mint and yoghurt in this, it is made according to your taste.
This marinade can be used for pieces of lamb too. Get your butcher to cut the leg into 2-3 inch pieces. To cook, BBQ on a skewer or oven-cook on a tray, on full heat, for 30 minutes or so.
I sometimes cook several shanks of lamb, one per person, instead of a leg of lamb. Shanks can be cooked on a BBQ.
Also see Lamb, Spicy Roast Leg of - 2.