Remove the skin and any excess fat from the lamb. With the point of a small knife make deep slits all over the lamb. To make the Marinade, crush the garlic with salt to form a smooth paste. Combine with the ginger, ground spices and lemon juice. Rub the marinade over the lamb and press some into each slit. Put the lamb in a deep bowl.
- 1 x 2.5 kg (5 lb) leg of lamb
- 5 cloves garlic
- 3 level teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon saffron strands or ¼ teaspoon powdered saffron
- 250 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) natural yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons blanched pistachios
- 1 tablespoon honey
If using saffron strands, toast them lightly for less than a minute in a dry pan over low heat, just long enough to dry them. Turn onto a saucer and leave to cool and crisp, then crush to powder with the back of a poon. Dissolve the powder in 1 tablespoon hot water. Put yoghurt, saffron, almonds and pistachios into a blender and process until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the lamb. Drizzle the honey over, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to marinate at least overnight in the refrigerator, or 2 days if possible.
Preheat the oven to very hot, 230¡C (450¡F). Transfer the lamb to a baking dish with a cover and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 C (350 F) and cook for a further 1 hour 45 minutes or until the lamb is cooked through. Uncover the baking dish and cool to room temperature. Serve with rice or flat bread. Leftovers make superb sandwiches. If short on time, a quick solution is to buy a boned and butterflies leg of lamb, spread it with 2Ð3 tablespoons Charmaine Solomon’s Kashmiri Marinade and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cook on a barbecue or in the oven for about 35 minutes.