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BBQ Leg Of Lamb- Indian Style


1 Irish or New Zealand (depending on the season, price and availability) leg of lamb. 

Initial Marinade:

  • 50g butter
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks
  • At least 10 green cardamon pods
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 1tsp black peppercorns
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 4-6 large dried red chillies.

Second marinade:

  • 1/2 pint of full fat, natural yoghurt
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1" cube of ginger
  • 1-2tsp of cayenne or chilli powder
  • 2tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds
  • 2tsp ground, roasted coriander seeds
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp salt
  • 50g ground almonds.
BBQ Leg Of Lamb- Indian Style


I'm a BBQ-aholic and recently splashed out on a big fancy, four burner (yes gas, it is, on balance the best option for most people) BBQ with 'cast-iron' this and 'porcelain enamelled' that. So I had to test it with something special! This will serves at least 6.

  • Either get your butcher to do this or try this yourself. It's easy, just have a feel for the knife and the leg. You NEED a good quality, sharp boning knife, about 10-15cm in length. Do this the day before or on the morning of cooking. You basically need to bone the leg.
  • Start by place the leg on the board. Make a deep cut along the side, right down to the bone. Follow the bone all the way to the shin.
  • At this point it's best to trim as much of the fat off the exterior as possible, as it is easier when the leg is intact.
  • Once you have trimmed the leg and made the initial incision (think of yourself as the animal world's equivalent of Dr Quincy ME, except you know how this particular victim died), start working your boning knife around the bone from the shin up to the knee.
  • Take care at the knee joint and be gentle, let the knife find the easy way round the patella and the medial collateral ligaments.
  • Keep working up to the top of the leg and feel your way around the ball of the hip joint.
  • Again, be gentle and don't worry about leaving meat behind, you can always trim the leg down after.
  • Once you get the bone out (ooh-er!) you have the leg meat.
  • Now, you have to be meticulous and spend an inordinate amount of time trimming the fat off. The more you can get off the better!!!
  • It's also decision time, look at the leg, you want to keep as much intact for the BBQ, but generally you will have to cut the leg up along the natural weak points and tears.
  • You should get two generous bits plus a few other bits and pieces. Don't worry about cutting of straggly bits, just put them to the side along wit the bone trimmings and freeze them for another time.
  • Once you have selected your choice of meat, it's time to marinade.
  • Initial Marinade, first, get a heavy-based pan quite hot, break up the cinnamon, place in the pan along with the other whole spices and chillies. gently roast for a minute or so.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Take the chillies out and place in a small bowl of hot water.
  • Take the chillies out of the water and finely slice.
  • Add back into the pan, add the butter return to the heat and simmer the spices for 3-4mins, make sure you do not burn the butter.
  • Allow to cool for 1-2mins. Add the lemon juice, stir to prevent coagulation.
  • Allow to cool. Season your butterflied leg with plenty of pepper, place into a dish big enough to take it.
  • Pour over the marinade. Rub in well to both sides. Cover and stick it in the fridge. Leave for 2-4 hours, or more.
  • Now, for the second marinade!!!!
  • Blitz all of the above in a food processor until smooth. Rub all over the leg of lamb.
  • Return to the fridge for another 2+ hours. Longer the better. Turn the leg every hour or so.
  • Now, cooking. You need a good, hot gas BBQ.
  • Brown the leg off briefly on the hotplate if you BBQ has it, if not, on the rack at full heat. Brown for 2 mins each side.
  • Turn the heat down to minimum.
  • Cook for 10-12 mins each side.
  • This should get the leg medium, 12-15 each side will be well done.
  • Younger/smaller the leg, the less cooking, the bigger/older, the more cooking the better (to help dissolve the fat)
  • Make sure you rest the leg in foil for at least 5-10mins.
  • Serve with some rice, green beans, popadoms, cucumber and yoghurt, etc.
  • A bit different from the usual burgers and sausages!!!