Anglo-Indian roast: spiced lamb with saffron gravy

My lovely little sister gave me the Hairy Bikers’ curry cookbook for Christmas. She knows me too well!


So I told her I’d have to thank her by cooking something from the book for her to eat. Her partner’s birthday is in early January so it seemed as good a reason as any.

It might surprise some of you to know that I rarely cook for anyone other than my husband and kids. I don’t do dinner parties. I’m actually a bit of a hermit so I don’t have huge groups of friends to cook for. Occasionally I have my parents over for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or a summer barbecue. But that’s it really.

So cooking a meal for anyone outside of this small circle is a big deal for me. Part of my reason for blogging is to build up my confidence in my own cooking. My husband and children eat my food coz they don’t have any other choice. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good! I’ve had lovely tweets and messages from readers who’ve tried my recipes and had good results. That’s always awesome to hear and makes me smile to myself. But having to watch people eating my food in front of me makes me nervous. I’m always convinced they are forcing a smile and just being polite when they say they enjoyed it.

Anyway, I digress. So my sister and her partner came over for an Anglo-Indian Sunday roast. They said they enjoyed it. The lamb was straight from the cookbook and I’ll give you the recipe now. The side dishes were my own and I’ll blog those separately. The lamb took a lot of preparation so I hope they meant it!


2kg leg of lamb
2 medium onions, finely sliced
40g pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped (I used flaked almonds instead)
3tbs runny honey
1tbs cornflour
1tbs cold water
40g sultanas (I left these out)


Good pinch of saffron
1tbs boiled water
1/2tsp cardamom seeds
1tbs minced ginger
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp salt
1tbs garam masala
2tsp cumin
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp turmeric
150ml plain natural yoghurt


Put the saffron in a little dish, cover with hot water from the kettle and leave to soak.

In a separate bowl, grind up the cardamom seeds and mix with the ginger, garlic, salt, garam masala, cumin, fennel seeds, turmeric and 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt. This is the first stage of the marinade!

Trim off as much of the skin and fat from the lamb as you can and make a dozen or so little cuts all over the meat. Place the entire joint into a large food bag. If you haven’t got one big enough you can use a clean carrier bag as long as it doesn’t have any holes in it! Tip the marinade all over the meat. Tie/seal the bag shut and squidge the marinade all over the meat so that it’s well covered.

Tip the saffron with the soaking water into the pot with the remaining yoghurt, stir and replace the lid or clingfilm the top. Now leave both the meat and yoghurt mixture in the fridge for 2 hours.


When the time is up, add the saffron yoghurt mixture to the bag of meat. Close the bag again and give it all another squish. Return it to the fridge for a good few hours. I did mine the day before and left it overnight.

When you’re ready to cook it, pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees. Place the sliced onions in a heap in a large roasting tin. Take the lamb out of the bag (easier said than done coz it’s slippery!) and sit it on top of the onions. Squeeze all the yoghurt and juices out of the bag over the meat and then bin the bag.


Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil and cook for 2 1/2 hours.

Take the lamb out of oven, chuck the foil and carefully tip all of the juices into a saucepan. Set this aside to make your gravy.

Scatter the nuts over the lamb and drizzle the honey on top. Return the lamb and onions to the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes or so while you make the gravy.


Heat the juices in the pan. Mix the cornflour with cold water and add to the pan. Stir vigorously to avoid lumps. If using sultanas add them now. Stir until thickened.

And that’s it! You’re ready to serve! The Hairy Bikers suggest boiled rice and a cucumber raita. I used mine to create an Anglo-Indian Sunday roast. I’ll be blogging my bombay roast potatoes and veggie side dishes tomorrow.



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2 thoughts on “Anglo-Indian roast: spiced lamb with saffron gravy

  1. ginacaro January 16, 2014 at 13:49 Reply

    Wow it looks amazing! I bet it tasted it too 🙂

  2. […] recipe for the spicy saffron leg of lamb can be found here. That was a recipe from the Hairy Bikers’ curry book that my sister bought me for […]

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