Raan is a marinated whole leg of lamb which is a perfect showstopper for a party. If you want to make an Indian themed Christmas feast, you cannot go wrong with Raan. It looks wonderful and tastes amazing. There are different versions of this dish – here I bring you a dish inspired by the Awadhi methods of cooking. It is best to marinate this overnight and the slow roast the following day for a fuller deeper flavour.
The amazing thing about Raan is that it needs three different kinds of marinades to give it a perfect finish. I have suggested steps to simplify the preparation in some places and also substitutes for ingredients that may not be easy to find.
You will need:
One leg of lamb, preferably fresh and not frozen
These measures are per kg of meat. Calculate the required quantity by multiplying with the weight.
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 tbsp grated green papaya – if this is not available use one tsp of meat tenderiser
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp full fat plain yoghurt. I prefer Onken as it tastes like Indian dahi
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 medium red onion, sliced and fried until golden brown in butter and ground to a paste
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp black cumin seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp mace powder
- 4 cloves ground to a powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper powder (best to make this fresh)
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds dry roasted and ground to a powder
Prick the lamb all over with a sharp fork. Massage the lime juice and papaya/meat tenderiser and salt into the meat. Adjust the quantity of salt if you are using meat tenderiser as this may already contain salt. Leave to marinate for an hour. Mix all the ingredients in Marinade 2 and coat the lamb evenly. Make sure the marinade gets into all the crevices in the meat by rubbing in gently. Sprinkle Marinade 3 over the meat and massage in again to mix thoroughly with the second layer. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.
Take out an hour before cooking. Cook on a medium (180C) oven covered with foil to prevent drying. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp Kewra water after an hour to add some moisture back into the meat. If Kewra water is not available, use milk. Keep covered and continue cooking until the meat is completely cooked and falling off the bone. Remove the foil for the last 15-20 minutes to give the crust some colour.
Take out of the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with mint sauce (try our Magic Mint Sauce) or cranberry sauce (try our Chilli Cranberry Sauce) and your favourite sides.