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Tandoori Leg of Lamb Spicy Roast - 2
Masaledar Bakre ki Raan

Mamta Gupta

Pictures by Heather Gregory

This is a dish for festive or special occasions! An easy dish to prepare, where a mix of spices give the leg of lamb that extra delicate Asian 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. See notes. 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 8

The marinade used here can also be used to cook a roast chicken.

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Ingredients

2 kg. (approximately) whole leg of lamb*
5-6 cloves
Marinade
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

Instructions

1.Make slits in the lamb leg.
2.Insert garlic cloves in the slits.
3.Put all marinade ingredients, except yoghurt, in a blrnder and blend to a paste.
4.Add yoghurt and give a quick whiz to mix it well.
5.Cover the leg all over with the marinade ensuring that some enters the slits.
6.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!
7.Cooking
8.Put the leg in a roasting tin and cook in the centre of oven at 190°C/375°/Gas 5 (175°C/350°F 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. Oven performances are different, so keep and eye after 1 1/4 hours.
9.Serve with Peas Pulao (Pilaf or Pilau) and Yoghurt Mint sauce or as part of a festive meal. You can also serve it with roast potatoes and a selection of vegetables, as a 'Roast Dinner'.
10.How to Butterfly a leg of lamb, instructions by Heather Gregory of Australia
11.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 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’ marinating will be fine as the meat is much thinner. In the recipe in pictures, I marinated it by 10 am and cooked it that evening. I cooked mine for an hour in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. It can be cooked on a kind of barbecue which has a cover, in about the same time – 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!

Notes

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.

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