Leg of Lamb in a Spicy Yogurt Sauce

"This is delicious, I make this for special occasions, it also looks impressive. I do not find it too spicy just nicely spiced. A green vegetable and rice are good with this Raan masaledar!"
photo by kiwidutch photo by kiwidutch
photo by kiwidutch
photo by kiwidutch photo by kiwidutch
Ready In:
3hrs 20mins




  • Remove all the fat from the outside of the leg and the white skin, or ask your butcher to do it.
  • Put the leg in a baking dish, stainless steel or glass is preferred because of the yogurt marinade.
  • Put in your blender or food processor the almonds, onions, garlic, ginger, green chilies and about 3 tablespoons of the yogurt, process to a paste.
  • The remaining yogurt you put in a dish, beat lightly until smooth, add the paste and the cumin, coriander, cayenne and garam masala, mix.
  • Stab the lamb all over, making good deep cuts.
  • Now the fun begins, using your hands push generous amounts of paste in the natural openings of the lamb, then in the cuts you made.
  • Spread remaining paste all over and around the lamb, the side that will be up should get a thick layer.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  • When ready to bake, remove the lamb from the fridge and give it enough time to get to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Heat the oil in a small pan on a medium flame, when hot add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns, when the cloves swell, this just takes seconds pour the hot oil and the spices over the lamb.
  • Cover the dish with its own lid or tightly with aluminum foil, bake covered for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for another 45 minutes or longer if you prefer.
  • During this time baste the meat regularly with the sauce.
  • Scatter, or make nice pattern, the sultana’s and almonds over the top of lamb in the yogurt paste.
  • Bake for another 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove the dish from the oven; leave it a warm place for 15 minutes or so.
  • Take the leg out of the pan, spoon the fat from the top of the sauce, strain the sauce and discard the whole spices.
  • Serve the leg on a platter with the sauce poured around it.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I serve it with couscous. The meat turns out to be full of flavour and very tender. I have never made it with the garnish, as the meat looks great as is coming out from the oven.
  2. I am trying to like this sooooo much, but although the spice blend was WONDERFUL, the whole just didn't turn out as expected. I marinaded the lamb overnight and then for half the next day and DH put it into the oven dish to cook with the other ingredients as directed. First off, there was extra sauce but sadly it glued and then crisped itself to the bottom of the pan so there was nothing to baste with :( and although the smell after one and a half hours was great, (and indeed turned out to be well cooked so luckily we didn't add any extra time) that we rested it and then found that where I had made the deep incisions and pressed in the ginger etc that the taste was exceptionally strong and a little overwhelming. We and three guests tried really hard to like it but while it was edidible it simply wasn't to our tastes. Please see my Rating System: 3 stars for a recipe that had SO much promise and potential but that we couldn't get to work for us. What a shame. Anyway it was good to try and other reviewers had a heap more success so please don't let my experience put you off at all. Thanks!
  3. This looks like a lot of steps and ingredients, but it is SO simple to make I can't believe it. I marinated our butterflied leg of lamb for 24 hours and cooked it for the time given. We could have cut it with a spooon, it melted in our mouths and was a stunning main dish for our curry meal. I will be making this amazing dish again soon.
  4. My family's favourite preparation of mutton (Yes we use goat's meat as lamb is not easily avlbl.) I have posted this recipe too. Oversight I guess as yours was there first and identical to what I use. I normally check. Did not want such a wonderful dish go unrated when it should be 5 star all the way! What say!! :0 Fay P.S. I normally omit the sultanas due to personal taste preferences. But everything else is bang on! I serve this with a veg. Pulav and raita or sabji (that is a dry vegetable dish)and yes cutlets/ kebabs. Scrumptious!!


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