Monday, 20 April 2015

Recipes: Lamb recipes from Anjum Anand

Anjum Anand shares her favourite lamb recipes

Written by Anjum Anand

Spiced BBQ Leg of Lamb with Tamarind and Yoghurt (pictured above)

A delicious showstopper of a dish, this spiced leg of lamb brightens up a summer's day but is still really easy to do and enjoyed by all. The yoghurt and tamarind chutney work so well with the lamb adding a creamy and sweet tangy note. You can buy this chutney in the markets, sometimes called tamarind sauce but equally, it is really easy to make.

Serves 6

1.5 kg well-trimmed, boned and butterflied leg of lamb
Salt and lots of black pepper to taste

1 small onion, quartered
30g mint plus extra for serving
31/2 tbs. vinegar
1 tbs. garam masala
2 tsp. cumin powder
25g garlic
35g fresh ginger, peeled weight
½ tsp. red chilli powder
120g plain yoghurt
1 tbs. vegetable oil

To serve
500g tub Greek Yoghurt
120g Tamarind sauce/chutney (see above)

Blend together all the marinade ingredients until smooth. Season well with both salt and pepper. Taste, it should taste salty (and a little strong at this stage).

Pierce the lamb vigorously all around with a fork. Place in a snug container or a large freezer bag and pour over all the marinade. Massage in really well. Cover the container or close the bag and place the lamb in the fridge to marinate, ideally overnight, but as long as you can.

Remove the lamb from the fridge about 45 minutes before starting to cook. Oil the grill rack. Heat up your BBQ to a medium-high heat, place the lamb, skin side down straight on top and cook for about 10 minutes on one side, turn over and cook for another 10 minutes or so, move the lamb to a part of the BBQ not directly over the hot coals or turn the BBQ down, cover the BBQ and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until done to your liking.

Take off the heat and cover loosely with foil for about 15 minutes. Serve sliced or across the grain.

Meanwhile, season the yoghurt, stir in half the chutney and extra shredded mint, so it is muddled. Serve with the extra chutney on the side.

Easy 25-minute cardamom lamb

A lovely, light lamb curry inspired by Sindhi cardamom chicken curries. The flavours are delicate but quite wonderful and it cooks in less than 30 minutes. I truly recommend it. For quickest results, cook the curry in an open, wide pan so that there is more surface area for the ingredients to cook. If you have more time, make a slow-cooked version with cubed leg of lamb, cooking it for 1–1¼ hours for an added depth of flavour.


Serves 3, can be doubled

11⁄2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 smallish tomato, quartered
10g root ginger, peeled weight, coarsely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves
1 rounded tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cardamom, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1–2 green chillies, pierced with
the tip of a knife
200ml lamb or chicken stock,
or water
350g lamb rump, trimmed and
cut into 2.5cm chunks
salt and 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground
black pepper

Blend together the yogurt, tomato, ginger, garlic and ground spices until smooth. (I use a hand-held blender.)

Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and sauté until golden brown. Add the blended ingredients and the chillies and cook, stirring often, until the masala has completely reduced and releases oil on the base of the pan. The more you fry this paste mixture, the deeper the resulting flavour, so it is a time-versus-flavour decision. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then add the meat and simmer for four to five minutes, or until cooked to your liking.

Taste and add salt, pepper or more ground cardamom until you have a flavour you love, then serve.

One-pot meatballs, eggs and spiced tomatoes

This is a lovely meal. It is easy to make, even while helping the children with their homework, filling and very satisfying. You can use minced chicken instead of lamb, if you prefer. Serve with plain rice or Indian breads. It does take a little longer than some of the other dishes in the book, but is definitely worth having in your repertoire.


Serves 4

For the tomatoes and eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, grated
1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp turmeric
3 large ripe tomatoes (about 450g), chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
good pinch of caster sugar
4 eggs
handful of chopped coriander
leaves, to serve

For the meatballs
250g minced lamb
15g chopped coriander leaves
and stalks
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10g root ginger, peeled weight,
finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp garam masala
1⁄2 tsp ground cumin

Start with the tomato sauce. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan that has a lid, add the onion and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the cumin and turmeric and stir for 20 seconds before adding the tomatoes, some salt and pepper and the sugar along with 50ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked. Taste, it should taste harmonious. Adjust the seasoning.

Meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Roll the mixture into balls slightly smaller than a walnut. Add them to the pan, cover and simmer for another 16–18 minutes, turning halfway.

Uncover the pan, adding a little water if it is looking dry. Make four little indents in the sauce and crack the eggs into them. Cover and simmer for another four to five minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve with a sprinkling of coriander.

Spiced roast leg of lamb

For Indians, roasting a leg of lamb is reserved for special occasions. The lamb is normally marinated overnight for the spices to have time to penetrate deep into the flesh, then roasted slowly for hours until the meat falls off the bone. This is an easier version of that special dish and, while it needs lots of spices, it cooks itself in the oven, so is a really easy entertaining option. You can serve this with an elegant pilaf, naan, vegetables or salads, or just a lovely raita, depending on how you like to eat. The longer you marinate this lamb, the better the result; overnight is best.


Serves 6–8

9 cloves
8 green cardamom pods
3 black cardamom pods
1⁄2–3⁄4 tsp black peppercorns
7.5cm cinnamon stick
11⁄2 tsp cumin seeds
3 dried bay leaves
75g root ginger, peeled weight, coarsely chopped
35g garlic cloves
3 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
150g plain yogurt
3⁄4 tsp chilli powder
13⁄4 tsp salt
1.8–2kg leg of lamb (I like mine half-boned by the butcher)

Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind all the whole spices and bay leaves to a fine powder.

Blend together the ginger, garlic, vinegar, oil and as much of the yogurt as you need to make a smooth paste (I use a hand-held blender). Add the ground spices, chilli powder, salt and remaining yogurt.

Weigh the lamb and make a note of its weight. Place the meat in a large shallow dish and make lots of slits all over the surface with a small sharp knife. Spread over the marinade, massaging well to make sure it goes into the slits and the lamb is well and evenly covered. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, ideally overnight, but for a minimum of two to three hours.

When you're ready to cook, return the lamb to room temperature and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place the lamb in a baking tray along with every last bit of marinade. Cover with a lid, or with some foil, and slide on to the middle shelf of the oven. Now cook for 22 minutes per 500g of weight, adding 20 minutes extra at the end. After the meat has been roasting for one hour, uncover the dish and pour 100ml of water into the tray. Baste every 20–30 minutes, keeping an eye on the moisture levels and adding a splash more water if the tray dries out.

Once done, take the meat out of the oven, cover with foil and a tea towel and rest for 15–20 minutes before carving. Skim any excess fat from the pan juices, taste them for seasoning, then serve them with the lamb.

For my recipe, log onto and look in the accompaniments in the recipe section. I also like to add a salad on the side.

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