5 hour Easter lamb with cauliflower chaat salad & jeera potatoes

This is a beautiful alternative to a traditional Easter Sunday roast lamb, it’s packed full of flavour for no more effort than usual. In India, you’ll hear often meat described as so good that it ‘melts in your mouth’. It’s the highest accolade that can be awarded to meat and will usually mean that it has been cooked ‘dum pukht’ or long and slow in a sealed container in it’s own juices until it becomes ridiculously soft and falls apart easily and without a quarrel, like this lamb. While there are no shortcuts to getting to this texture: this is a low-tech dish for risk adverse roasters and after ten minutes of prepping your lamb, you can sit back, enjoy Easter, and time will do the rest. It’s best served with a fresh salad, like my cauliflower pomegranate salad, jeera potatoes and a quick mint yoghurt chutney.
  cauli chaat salad and jeera potatoes 5 hour spiced lamb Serves 6

  •  3/4 tablespoon salt
  • 5cm ginger, peeled
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 x 4cm sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chilli powder
  • Juice of two small lemons
  • 100ml rapeseed oil
  • 2.3 kg leg of lamb

Heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius and line an oven dish with foil. Grind the cumin and cinnamon together in a spice grinder (or substitute for ground spices) then throw into a food processor alongside the rest of the ingredients excluding the lamb. Make deep cuts in the lamb on both sides and spread the paste all over the lamb using your hands making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Pop the lamb in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour 500ml of just boiled around the outside of the lamb and cover tightly with foil. Turn the heat down to 160 degrees Celsius and put the lamb back in the oven and bake for another 4 ½ hours. Check the lamb every hour or so to make sure there’s enough water at the bottom and if need be, add a little more. After a total of 5 hours cooking, remove the lamb and leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Cauliflower and pomegranate chaat salad This salad is a fantastic jumble of textures and flavours and provides a welcome fresh side to the lamb.

  • rapeseed oil
  • ½ cauliflower (or 1 small head)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained (I like, KTC chickpeas found in Sainsburys)
  • 1 tablespoon chat masala (Mangal)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 50g coriander, leaves and stalks
  • ½ pomegranate, deseeded
  • ¼ white onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Break the cauliflower florets down into tiny florets using your fingers so that each is around 1.5-2cm In a wide bottomed frying pan add 2mm of oil and heat over a high heat. When hot, throw in the cauliflower florets– aim to have most touching the bottom of the pan so that they fry rather than steam. Leave for a couple of minutes at a time so that they colour. After around 8 minutes throw in the chickpeas and cook for two minutes. Season with the salt and chat masala, then take off the heat and allow to cool down completely before adding the chopped onion, cucumber, pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander. Squeeze in the lime-juice and mix. Sprinkle over with a pinch of chat masala just before serving. Jeera potatoes (pan-fried cumin potatoes)  These pan-fried potatoes are heavenly and have right amount of spicing to complement the lamb. Start them 10 minutes before the lamb is done so that they’re nice and hot for when the lamb has ready to serve after resting.

  • 1 kg new or charlotte potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 level teaspoon salt

Wash the potatoes and chop them lengthways and then lengthways again to create four chips from each potato – unless they’re really small, in which case just cut in half. In your widest lidded pan heat three tablespoons of oil over a medium to high heat. When hot add the cumin seeds and when the seeds start to ‘wriggle’ add all the potatoes and stir to coat in oil. Leave to brown stirring every few minutes until all potatoes start to brown which will be after around 15 minutes – then add the spices: the turmeric, chilli and salt. Stir to mix then pop the lid on for five minutes to cook through. Check that the potatoes are cooked using a knife, it should pass through easily without resistance. Take the lid off for the final five minutes to crisp up the potatoes. Quick mint and yoghurt chutney  There is a longer version of this chutney I make when I have more time, but in the interests of getting the most out of the Easter weekend, add a tablespoon of good mint jelly into half a pot of greek yoghurt and whisk with a fork.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sprinkle over with ground cumin to serve. HAPPY EASTER