Last week, we finally had Fran and Stephania over for dinner. It was a special evening honoring a couple of things: integrity and how my husband and I have talked many times of having them over for dinner and gratitude to Fran who took my shot for the ‘about me section’ (Fran is a most talented and renowned New York City fashion photographer). The evening was as expected. There was laughter, gossip, politics and of course my little boys and their baby squirrel impressing Stephania, competing for her attention. I know Fran and Stephania enjoy Indian food and I wanted to make it a special evening. I was actually going to do my homework and not just shoot from the hip at the last minute and put together a meal from what I had in the refrigerator. I was going to shop for this! After a moment or two reflecting on how I wanted the evening to look, I decided I wanted ‘light hearted fun’ for ambience, but grandeur on the table, something a little royal on my plate. And Voila! It was decided, I would make Raan! Not only would we be indulging in a dish that had been soaking up flavors for over 24 hours, but also indulging in a history of the North Western Frontier (this is made up of Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan, Central Asia and the middle East). Even people who do not consider Indian food a novelty, light up at the thought of Raan. This dish is mouthwatering but when you consider it’s marinating in vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili, cumin and other ingredients, as well as the process of braising and roasting, it is hardly a surprise. —Indian Globetrotter
Leg of lamb
cloves of garlic finely sliced garlic
1" ginger piece sliced length wise
Dried mango powder
In This Recipe
Cut 1/4 “ slits all over your lamb
Stuff the long slices of ginger and garlic as far down these slits as possible
Mix your dry spices (salt, dried mango powder, black pepper, cloves, chili powder, cardamom powder) and rub all over the leg - front, back and sides.
In a bowl, mix the yoghurt, minced ginger and garlic and lemon rind into a paste
Spoon mixture over the lamb, cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 24 hours (or atleast over night). This allows the lamb to draw in all the spices
Approximately 5 hours prior to cooking, remove from refrigerator and pour over the rum and malt vinegar
When you are ready to begin the roasting process. Heat the oven to 400 degrees
In a hot frying pan, cook top and bottom of the lamb for a couple of minutes, allowing the lamb to seal it’s juices
Transfer to a roasting dish and place in the oven for approximately 1 hour (20 minutes per pound of meat). Baste the lamb with the juices in the roasting dish every 30 minutes.
Serving suggestions: People often pair this dish with a piece of naan bread or rice and lentil curry. I prefer it lightly cumin spiced roast potatoes.