Thursday 27 March 2014

Spiced Roast Leg of Lamb (Tandoori Raan)

A lamb leg roast is extremely divine taste, it is rich with flavours. This marinated leg of lamb cooked in a deliciously spicy masala has that touch of royalty. First time I had 'tandoori raan'  was at Karim's when I took my family and friends for a dinner to celebrate the day I got my first salary. 

My only concern when cooking was about the inside of leg not getting cooked, but it went as I wanted it to, finely done inside out. It is important to make enough deep pricks with fork so that marinate gets inside and spreads the flavour. I used lamb shoulder for my first attempt.

Spiced Shoulder of Lamb


Leg of lamb (or Shoulder) - 1 and ½ kg

Onions - 1 large
Garlic cloves - 6 (crushed)
Ginger - 3 table spoon (crushed)
Green Chilly - 4

Yoghurt (plain) - 500 gram

Cumin Seeds (Dhaniya) - 2 table spoon
Coriander seeds (Zeera) - 1 table spoon
Cloves (Laung) - 6
Green Cardamom Pods (Choti elaychi) - 6
Cinnamon Stick (Daal-chini)- 1 and ½
Peppercorns (Kali mirch) - 10
Red Chilly (dried) - 2 (finely cut with scissor)
Garam Masala - ½ tea spoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon (or according to taste)

Lemon juice - 2 table spoon, or more, according to taste
Olive Oil - 2 table spoon (or use vegetable oil)
Vegetable Oil - 3 table spoon
Paprika - 1 tea spoon (optional, or use Kashmiri mirch)
Rosemary twigs - 2 (optional)


  1. Trim any skin off the lamb leg
  2. Place it in a in a large dish
  3. Blend onions, garlic,  ginger and green chilli's
  4. Add yoghurt and blend together
  5. Crush Whole Spices (cumin Seeds, coriander seeds, 4 cloves, 4 cardamom Pods, 1 cinnamon Stick, 6 peppercorns and red chilly)
  6. Add to the blend mix along with garam masala and salt, olive oil and lemon juice
  7. Blend for another 30 seconds
  8. Prick the lamb leg with fork, so that marinate gets inside.
  9. Rub over the paste

  10. Refrigerate for 24 hours
  11. Remove from the fridge and let the meat come to room temperature.
  12. Preheat the oven to 200 degree C
  13. Place a silver foil on baking tray, place the marinated leg on silver foil
  14. Heat vegetable oil and fry remaining whole spices (2 Cloves, 2 Cardamom pods, ½ Cinnamon stick and 4 Peppercorns) for a few seconds
  15. Pour the hot spiced oil over the lamb
    Oil over lamb

  16. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1.5 hours
  17. Then remove the foil
  18. Sprinkle Paprika
  19. Place Rosemary twigs on side in the baking tray
  20. Bake for a further 45 minutes
  21. Serve sliced with plain yoghurt and mint sauce

Wednesday 5 March 2014


I was introduced to Hummus by a Mid-eastern friend of mine during my university days, and ever since I have loved it. In Vegetarian Dishes from the Middle East, celebrated British Armenian cook Arto der Haroutunian calls hummus, "One of the most popular and best-known of all Syrian dishes" and a "must on any mezzeh table."

Hummus can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be kept in the freezer for up to one month, add olive oil if it is dry. Hummus tastes great with bread, olives, cheese.

It's very important to season it so-gradually, the idea is that the heat of the garlic, and the zing of the lemon suits your particular idea of perfection. If you love garlic but don't want it to overpower the recipe, the easiest solution is to roast or microwave the garlic first, this will sweeten the garlic so it's not as offensive.


Hummus Ingredients
Hummus Blend

Chickpeas - 200 gram (canned)
Tahini (sesame seed paste) - 1 and ½ table spoon
Garlic cloves -2 (crushed) or more, according to taste
Lemon juice - 2 table spoon, or more, according to taste
Ground cumin - ½ teaspoon (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil - 2 table spoon
Salt - ½ teaspoon
Paprika or za'tar - 1 teaspoon (optional)

  1. Drain the chickpeas and rinse (set aside liquid from can). Reserve a few whole chick peas for serving
  2. Add tahini and lemon juice to food processor and blend for 30-40 seconds
  3. Add chickpeas, garlic, cumin, salt, and a table spoon of olive oil and then blend to a creamy purée
  4. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas (while blending), gradually tip in to make it a soft paste
  5. Place in serving bowl, and create a shallow well in the center of the hummus
  6. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter with the reserved chickpeas
  7. Sprinkle with paprika or za'tar

PS: There can be various additions to get different flavours of Hummus, you may add few sun-dried tomato or 2 green chilly or few leaf of coriander/mint when blending.