Masala Raan - Roast Leg of Lamb

Masala Raan
Masala Raan. Image © Monkey Business Images/
    31 hrs 30 mins
Ratings (23)

Want to wow your friends and family with a delicious, wholesome meal? Try Masala Raan! Made with a whole leg of lamb, marinated in a delicious blend of aromatic spices, this dish will make a really delicious meal when served with plain rice and a green salad or with Parathas and a salad. You'll have everyone eating out of your hands!

What You'll Need

  • A leg of lamb, approx 2 kg or 4.4 lbs
  • 1/2 kg/ 1 lb of onions cut into quarters
  • 50 gms almonds
  • 3 green chillies
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 500 gms fresh, unsweetened yogurt
  • 2 tbsps cumin powder
  • 3 tbsps coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 15 pods of green cardamom
  • 2 X 1" sticks of cinnamon
  • 12-15 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup of roasted almonds, cut into slivers to garnish the Raan (optional)

How to Make It

Before you start:

Trim all the fat off the leg of lamb. Also remove any sinew (which looks like a thin, almost transparent film on parts of the meat), using a sharp, pointed knife. Better still, ask your butcher to do it for you! If the leg will be too large for your pans or your oven, ask the butcher to cut it into two pieces.

  • Use a sharp knife to cut deep slashes all over the meat. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat and makes for a seriously well flavored Raan! Place the meat in the centre of a well greased baking dish or pan.
  • Put the onions, almonds, green chillies, garlic and ginger pastes into a food processor and grind into a smooth, thick paste, only adding water while grinding if absolutely necessary.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the yogurt until smooth and then mix it with the paste you just made (above).
  • Add the cumin, coriander, red chilli and gram masala powders to the yogurt and mix to blend well.
  • Now add the onion-almond paste that you ground earlier. Mix everything really well.
  • Pour this marinade all over the meat. Using your hands rub the marinade into the meat, pushing it into the slashes you cut on the surface of the piece. Make sure all of the meat is well covered with the marinade.
  • Cling wrap the baking dish/ pan and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Remove the marinated leg of lamb from the refrigerator and keep out to warm up to room temperature.
  • Preheat your oven to 400F, 200C or Gas Mark 6.
  • When the leg of lamb has warmed up to room temp, remove the cling film.
  • Heat the vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil and when hot, add all the whole spices - cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, etc. Sauté until they stop sizzling and begin to give off an aroma.
  • Pour the oil with the spices in it, all over the marinated meat. Now cover the dish/ pan tightly with foil.
  • Put the dish/ pan in the hot oven and cook for 2 hours.
  • Now uncover the Raan and cook for another 1 hour. Baste the Raan every 10 minutes or so to ensure it remains moist.
  • Now remove the Raan from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with the slivered almonds, carve into thick slices and serve. You can spoon the juices from roasting, over the meat when you serve.
  • Masala Raan goes really well with plain rice and a salad or with Parathas or Naans!