Lamb Raan made easy!
Lamb raan is a real treat. Many curry houses serve it but don’t expect to simply walk in and order. Most restaurants will ask for two to three days notice and a deposit if you want to treat your family and/or friends to a leg of lamb raan.
The reason for this is that it isn’t ordered often and the leg of lamb should really be marinated for 48 to 72 hours for best results. Here I would like to show you how it’s done and don’t forget the naans and chutneys to go with it!
What is lamb raan?
Raan means leg in Hindi so this is a leg of lamb. In India and Pakistan, you will find lamb raan made with mutton or goat too.
I have tried both and they are great options too.
About this lamb raan recipe
I’ve experimented with many lamb raan recipes over the years. You will find some more complicated than others but this lamb raan is quite easy. It’s so easy, I included the recipe in my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Easy’ so that’s saying something.
The spicing is perfect for the lamb and really the most difficult part of making this lamb raan is waiting 48 to 72 hours for it to marinate. You are going to love this simple recipe and no… no one you serve this lamb raan to will have any ideas it’s so easy to prepare.
How do you cook lamb raan
If you are a big fan of lamb that is cooked pink in the middle like me, you might be a bit worried when you read the recipe below. Believe me, you need not worry. The lamb raan is slowly cooked for about two and a half hours in the oven or on a barbecue. The slow cooking method produces and well done leg of lamb that is just as juicy as any medium rare cooked lamb.
After you are finished slow cooking the lamb raan, you turn the heat of your oven right up to char it some. If cooking on a barbecue, you can slap it right down over direct high heat and char to your liking.
You can prepare the marinade a good five days ahead of cooking. Just ensure everything is in date before doing so.
Your lamb raan will be best if you leave it to marinate for 72 hours so this can of course be started earlier rather than later too.
Then all you need to do is follow the cooking instructions below and serve up delicious lamb raan to your family and friends.
Can you do anything with the leftovers?
Yes. If you have any leftovers, you can add it to curry house style curry sauces. Curry house curries call for pre-cooked meat and this is some of the best.
If you don’t have much lamb raan meat leftover, you can still make this delicious and easy lamb soup. Use the bone to make this lamb stock and you will have one amazing soup in minutes!
What do you serve with this leg of lamb?
Anything you like really. But if you want to serve it as part of a feast, I can highly recommend serving it with samosas, naans or chapatis and of course a few good chutneys.
If you really want to start your lamb raan feast off with a tasty start, why not try making your own poppadoms or onion bhajis? They are so good and better than you will find at most expensive Indian restaurants.
Does the lamb raan have to marinate so long?
No. You could get away with just marinating the meat for a couple of hours. That said, the longer you allow the meat to marinate, the better.
Step by step photographs
Optional gravy recipe
Lately I have been skipping the gravy and opting for homemade chutneys. Someday I will probably go back to making gravy.
You can make a gravy for this lamb raan very easily. Just place the lamb juices with all the onions, cinnamon and bay leaves over a medium heat. Add about 250ml (1 cup) water or lamb stock and bring to a simmer.
Then whisk in the reserved marinade one tablespoon at a time. Pass it all through a sieve and serve hot with the lamb raan.
- 1 leg of lamb – surface fat removed
- 2 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
- Rapeseed (canola) oil for shallow frying
- 2 brown onions, thinly sliced
- FOR THE OPTIONAL GRAVY
- 2 red onions cut into large chunks
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- FOR THE MARINADE
- 500ml plain Greek yoghurt
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 x 5cm (2 inch) ginger, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder (more or less to taste)
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- 1 tbsp tandoori masala
- 1 tbsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper ( to taste)
- Juice of one or two limes
- Pierce the leg of lamb all over with a sharp knife. Take two cloves of garlic and slice them into thin slivers
and insert the garlic slivers into the holes. Set aside.
- Now heat sufficient oil in a pan and fry the sliced brown onions until golden brown. This will take between 10
and 15 minutes. Transfer the fried onions with a slotted spoon to a food processor and add the remaining garlic and ginger. Blend to a thick paste. You can use a drop of water if needed.
- Mix this onion paste with the yogurt and add the ground spices and lemon or lime juice.
- Rub this marinade all over the surface of the lamb raan. I recommend wrapping the lamb in all that marinade
tightly with cling film. Allow to marinate for a few hours or up to 72 hours. The longer the better.
- When ready to cook, wipe as much of the marinade off as you can. If you want to make the optional gravy, retain the marinade you scrape off the meat and place, covered in the fridge until needed.
- Place the lamb in a baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Heat your oven or barbecue to 180c/350f and place it in. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the lamb is fall apart tender.
- Uncover the lamb and turn your oven up to 200c/400f if cooking in the oven. If on a barbecue, heat your coals up and cook over a high heat for a few minutes to char the exterior. Either way, be sure to baste with a little ghee as you char the meat.
- Once charred to your liking, allow to sit for about 20 minutes before carving.
- TO MAKE THE OPTIONAL GRAVY
- Add about 250ml (1 cup) water or lamb stock to the onions, cinnamon and bay leave in your pan and bring it to a simmer. Scrape it all to deglaze the pan.
- Add the retained marinade one tablespoon at a time and whisk it in. Continue simmering until you are happy
with the gravy consistency.
- Slice at the table and serve with the sauce or cut it into small pieces to be enjoyed with naans, the sauce and a few of your favourite chutneys and raitas.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 2136mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 11g
Monday 18th of October 2021
Hi Dan I’m cooking your lamb raan recipe but I have a 2.5 kg leg. Should I extend the cooking time at all? Kind regards Pete
Thursday 30th of December 2021
Sorry, temperatures. I.e. should I put this in a fan oven at 160?
Thursday 30th of December 2021
Do your times factor in fan ovens?
Wednesday 20th of October 2021
The cooking time is only a guideline so just keep checking it until it is done to your liking. Thanks Dan
Thursday 25th of June 2020
This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe..
Friday 3rd of July 2020
Hi Thanks very much. Dan
Tuesday 25th of February 2020
This sounds like something I made once for a friend's wedding, lamb kurzi. I got the butcher to bone and roll half a small lamb, unrolled it and put marinade inside, rerolled it and put marinade on the outside and left it for 2 days. Halfway from London to Leiceeter I realised it was still in the fridge so had a 100mile trip to go and get it.
We cooked it for about 4 hours (first 3 hrs in foil) , it went down a treat, people came back for seconds but it was all gone.
it was a lot of work but well worth it!
Wednesday 26th of February 2020
I love a good lamb raan! I have a new recipe for it too which will be in my next book 'The Curry Guy Bible'. :-)
Tuesday 7th of March 2017
Hi Dan This looks fantastic - planning to make it this week - could you clarify what your 'fried onion' recipe is, and when the limes are used? Thank you
Friday 10th of March 2017
Thank you. Fried onions are simple. All you do is thinly slice the onions and then fry them in oil until they are crispy brown. It takes about five to ten minutes. The lime can be squeezed over the meat to serve or you could simply place lime wedges at the table.
Hope you enjoy the recipe. Dan
Friday 21st of October 2016
At last I have found some real Indian cooking that brings back childhood memories, and I can use for entertaining my friends. Thank you for the wonderful variety and simplicity ....beats the everyday chicken curry which I have been making for years which was taught to me by my Indian friends in Nairobi. I will be having a banquet as these recipes will please everyone...I can smell it already.....mouth watering thoughts. Thanks,
Friday 21st of October 2016
Than you very much! I'm really glad you are liking the recipes. Keep in touch.