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Lamb Raan

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Lamb Raan

Lamb raan

Mmmm! Lamb Raan.

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.

I’ve experimented with recipes over the years but only started making it the traditional way a few months ago. Lamb raan is slowly cooked for about two and a half hours in the oven, which didn’t appeal to me as I prefer my lamb rare. There was no way I was going to ruin a beautiful leg of lamb.


If you enjoy this Indian lamb recipe try these delicious alternatives:

Modern Day Lamb Raan
Pre cooked chicken
Railway Curry
Lamb Curry
Keralan Lamb Curry
Stir Fried Lamb
Coconut Lamb


Making lamb raan

You know this is gong to be nice.

Making lamb raan

Marinated for 72 hours. The meat was amazing!

That said, when I finally did take that step and tried it the way it has been made for hundreds of years, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I loved it. The slow cooking and long marinating time makes the meat so juicy and tender.

I’m drooling just writing about. You’ve got to give this one a try! I’m going out to buy another leg of lamb right now.

Making lamb raan

Tapped dry and ready for the oven.

Making lamb raan

I was tempted to dig it but the final grilling was still to come.

Making lamb raan

Making the sauce.

Making lamb raan

Oh yes!

Making lamb raan

Getting a nice char in the wood fired oven.

Making lamb raan

So good served with chutneys and raitas too.

Making lamb raan.

A delicious snack with the leftovers the following day.


Yield: 6

Lamb Raan

Lamb Raan
Prep Time 3 days
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 days 3 hours


  • 1 leg of lamb – surface fat removed
  • 2 red onions cut into large chunks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 x 3cm piece of ginger
  • 1 x fried onion recipe
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori masala paste
  • Juice of one or two limes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala


  1. 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.
  2. To make the marinade, combine the rest of the garlic, the ginger, yogurt, fried onions, chilli powder and tandoori masala paste into a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Place the leg of lamb on a large piece of cling film and pour the marinade all over it. Rub the marinade into the flesh and press it into the holes with the garlic.
  4. Cover the leg of lamb with the cling film and place in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You could marinate the meat for as little as one hour but the longer marinating times do make a big difference.
  5. When ready to cook, Preheat your oven to 180 C /350 F. Rub all of the marinade off of the meat and tap it dry with a paper towel. Keep the marinade for the sauce.
  6. Place the red onions at the bottom of a greased baking pan and secure the leg of lamb on top. Toss the bay leaves and cinnamon stick into the pan, sprinkle with black pepper and cover it all tightly with foil.
  7. Place the lamb in the oven and cook for two and a half hours. After that time, the meat should be fall off the bone gorgeous. Remove the meat from the pan and deglaze the pan with about 200ml of water or spice stock.
  8. Strain the cooking juices into a saucepan and simmer until it is quite thick. Not sauce consistency but close.
  9. Stir in about four to five tablespoons of the marinade one tablespoon at a time. Don’t add it all at once or it will curdle. Check for seasoning and keep warm.
  10. Sprinkle the lamb with the chaat masala. You can finish your lamb raan in a few ways. Either heat your oven to its highest temperature and place it back in the oven until nicely charred, or cook it over indirect heat in a barbecue. You could also cut the meat into chucks and cook it on skewers over hot coals.
  11. 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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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

@Dan Toombs,

Sorry, temperatures. I.e. should I put this in a fan oven at 160?


Thursday 30th of December 2021

@Dan Toombs,

Do your times factor in fan ovens?

Dan Toombs

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..

Dan Toombs

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Hi Thanks very much. Dan

Johnny C

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!

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 26th of February 2020

Hi Johnny

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'. :-)

Thanks, Dan


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

Dan Toombs

Friday 10th of March 2017

Hi Nicola

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 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,

Dan Toombs

Friday 21st of October 2016

Hi Ingrid

Than you very much! I'm really glad you are liking the recipes. Keep in touch.

Cheers, Dan

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