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Roast leg of Lamb with indian spices


Lamb is one meat that I love to cook, serve and eat. My family loves it and so do I.  Some friends say there is a peculiar smell even after it is cooked.  To me if lamb is cooked properly it becomes one of the most tastiest meats.

Most roast  lamb dishes do not have much spices but only with seasoning alone. ( most of the English and American roast lamb).  South Indians usually do not cook the whole lamb or roast leg of lamb.  But in north India it is special to cook it this way. There is one special dish called Rogan Josh which is very popular using the whole leg of lamb. I will post this recipe sometime later.

I dont cook lamb regularly even though it is our favourite meat. So when I prepare it, it has to be cooked perfectly so as to enjoy it tremendously.

So today I am doing a simplified roast leg of lamb using indian spices which is different and yet very tasty.

The main ingredient will be the whole leg of lamb.  Get the best meat that you can get from your butcher.

All my lamb dishes are all favourites among my family and friends.  When a potluck party comes along, I always  bring my lamb dish to be enjoyed.

Serve this roast lamb with a large green salad.  I have given step by step instructions on how to roast it perfectly.  Prepare a day ahead so that you can  get a perfect roast the next day! So do give it a try.



1 lamb leg about 2 kg

3 tbsp grapeseed oil

8 tbsp tomato puree or paste




4  cloves garlic – grind to a paste

1 piece thumb size ginger – grind to a paste

2  tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp grapeseed oil


2 cloves garlic

1 thumb size ginger

6  onions – sliced

2 tsp chilli powder

4 tsp coriander powder

2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


4 cloves

6 green cardamom

4 black cardamom

3 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

2 bay leaf



Clean the leg of lamb, pat it dry.  Make deep slashes in the meat so as to allow the spices to seep through.

Sprinkle salt and pepper all over.

Combine the marinade ingredients.

Rub this marinade all over the lamb and keep it aside for at least 8 hours or overnight. Leave to  marinade in a refrigerator.

When you are ready to cook the lamb,  Heat a large pan to fit the lamb.  ( I use a roasting pan).

Add the oil,  once hot, add the whole spices. Let it heat just for 2 mins. ( If too browned, the spices will become bitter)

Add the blended paste. Saute till you can see the oil is separating.  Add the tomato puree, stir well. Slowly put in the whole leg of lamb,  Baste the lamb with the cooked  spice mixture.  Just leave in the pan on a slow fire for about 10 minutes.

Then put the whole pan with the lamb in  the oven at 150C. Let it roast for about 2 hours or longer depending on how tender you want the lamb to be.  You can turn the lamb once or more if you prefer.  Baste it at the same time with the spice paste which is on the bottom of the pan.

When you are happy with doneness of the tender lamb, turn the grill on  for just 5 to 10 mins.  This will let the spices to toast and dry.  Perfect coating for the lamb.

Garnish with Mint leaves.

Serve with pototoes  or bread.  (Flatbread is nice)



This roast lamb uses indian spices.  So the aroma while roasting in the oven is very musky and perfumes the whole house.

I have used black cardomoms  – this gives a smoky flavour to the dish.  You may omit it if you wish.

You may use all the spices here but if you are unable to get them, you can omit some spices but then the final result will not be the same. You will compromise on the taste too.

You can use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato puree or paste.  The paste imparts a beautiful flavour and gives a nice red colour too.  So I suggest a combination of fresh tomatoes  and paste.

If you want to have more sauce for the lamb, add a few more onions and tomato paste.

Before putting the lamb in the oven, you can sprinkle some salt all over.

Do not burn the spices – always keep the heat low when saute-ing spices as they burn quickly and make your dish bitter.

If your lamb leg is more than 2 kg, do allow for extra time in the oven. Or you may use a meat thermometer to check on your preferred done-ness




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