Monday, 2 November 2015

Lucknow Spiced Roast Lamb

Another excellent recipe from Rick Stein's India. There's a fair amount of prep work in making and applying the spice paste, but once it's done and the lamb is in the oven, that's it. You can serve with quite plain accompaniments (roast potatoes or boiled rice, and some simple vegetables or salad) because the lamb is so rich and the spice paste so delicious. It's tempting to skip steps like frying the onions but I urge you not to; much of the paste should end up inside the roast, and you want it to percolate into the meat, so it needs to be tasty straight from the blender. With this mix of ingredients, that's easy.


  • 2kg easy-carve (boned) leg of lamb
  • 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 6cm ginger, roughly chopped
  • 55g cashew nuts
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • 300g thick Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri (mild, bright red) chilli powder

Fry the onions in oil for 10 minutes until deep golden brown; add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a food blender and blend to a paste with all of the other ingredients.

Sit the leg of lamb in a roasting tray and make 1.5cm deep and wide incisions all over, so you can push the spice paste in. If you like, you can take off the thickest part of the fat as well, but leave some on so the roast stays moist. Push the spice paste into the middle where the bone was removed, and into the incisions, and finally coat the surface of the lamb thickly. If you have any left over, plop it underneath the lamb. Add about 200ml of water to the bottom of the tray and cover the whole leg loosely with foil. Roast at 150C for 1.5 hours, then remove the foil and roast for a further 30 minutes uncovered. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving thickly.

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