It had to happen sooner or later. At our recent Food Bloggers Conference, one of our guest speakers, the fabulous Lucy Corry of The Kitchen Maid, implored us to leave the cute animal photos out of our food blogs. (You can read more of what Lucy said here.) What ensued was so many jokes, tweets and photos of pussies and baby lambs, that I'm surprised we didn't trend. And now it's happened, one of those cute little lambs has found itself on the wrong side of the plate - and delectable in its demise it was too.
Inspired by Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for Tandoori Chicken, from the book Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, this lamb was marinated in a bath of yoghurt and spices for several hours before baking in a slow oven. Our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we are cooking with Madhur's recipes for the next six months, was "Everything's Better with Yoghurt". Indeed this lamb was very much better with yoghurt. The result was moist, succulent, flavourful lamb that simply fell from the bone and brought conversation to a grinding halt - its hard to talk when you're chowing down on a mouthful of baby lamb. I always think its a sure sign that the food is great when everyone goes quiet.
When I say I was inspired by Madhur's recipe for Tandoori Chicken - I took her basic marinade, but treated things slightly differently. I left out food colouring, as I wasn't looking for that bright reddish-orange colour that one normally associates with tandoori chicken, and I wanted a longer, slow bake, rather than a quick bake at a very high temperature. I did also tinker with the spices a little bit - leaving out cayenne pepper, and adding in some turmeric.
This went down so well, it will definitely become a regular round these parts. I think another time I might even try keeping the lamb in a whole piece and giving it the rotisserie treatment on the barbeque.
Yoghurt Marinated Baked Lamb Recipe
Inspired by a recipe by Madhur Jaffery from
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2kg lamb shoulder, cut into serving sized portions
(your butcher will do this for you)
2x cloves garlic
5cm (2 inch) piece fresh ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 teaspoons water
500g natural yoghurt
juice of 1x lemon
flaky sea salt
fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
Peel and very roughly chop the shallots, garlic and ginger. Place in blender, along with the garam masala, turmeric and water, and blitz everything to a paste.
Place yoghurt in a large bowl, and mix in the spice paste, stirring until everything is well combined.
Place lamb pieces in a single layer in a shallow dish. Pour over half of the lemon juice, sprinkle liberally with salt, and massage in well. Turn all the lamb pieces over, and repeat - pouring the remaining lemon juice over, and again sprinkling well with salt. Give this side a good massage too.
Now pour the yoghurt marinade over everything, and turn all the lamb pieces over several times, making sure that all pieces are well coated. Cover dish with cling film and refrigerate for as long as you can. At least four hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Remove lamb from the marinade, shaking off any surplus, but still leaving some marinade clinging to the meat. Place lamb pieces in an ovenproof baking dish, again in a single layer. Cover with tin foil and put into the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Remove and discard the tin foil, and turn over all pieces of the lamb. Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes, by which time the lamb will be well browned, cooked through and tender.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place for a good 30 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander and serve.
This would be great served with Aloo Gobi, a delicious dish of potato and cauliflower mixed with spices (bound to be featured here in the forthcoming weeks), or Gujarati-style green beans. As it turned out, I served simply with jacket-baked potatoes topped with more yoghurt and a tiny sprinkling of cayenne pepper for a touch of warmth, and a refreshing tomato and cucumber salad.
If you would like to get to know Madhur a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...
... or check out Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking and many of Madhur's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.
I am sharing this post this week with my friends Michelle at Ms. enPlace hosting See Ya In the Gumbo, and with April at The 21st Century Housewife hosting Gallery of Favourites.