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.
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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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Strain the cooking juices into a saucepan and simmer until it is quite thick. Not sauce consistency but close.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.