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Lamb Mandi
Lamb Mandi

1 kg lamb shoulder
Spice Mix
1 teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cardamom pods
¾ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 inch cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon dried ginger powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons semn (ghee) or butter
1 onion, finely sliced
4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon
4 cardamoms
2 bay leaves
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups basmati or long-grain rice, soaked
4 cups chicken stock or water
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
¼ cup chopped coriander


Grind all the spices for the spice mix. Make gashes in the lamb and rub the ground spice mix into it.Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ Gas Mark 6. Place the lamb in a roasting tin, cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven, turning once, till tender and golden brown. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Alternatively, cook in a non-stick skillet over a medium heat till brown on both sides. Do not add any fat – the lamb will release its own fat.

In the meanwhile, cook the rice. Heat 2 tablespoons semn or butter in a pan; add the onion and sauté till it softens. Add the whole spices and sauté for a few seconds till fragrant.Add the tomato and the drained rice and stir to mix.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, covered, till the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed.

Remove the cooked lamb from the roasting tin or skillet, and slice or cut it up into chunks. Spoon the rice into the tin or skillet and mix into the lamb juice. Make a well in the center of the rice and place an onion skin, or a small heatproof bowl, with a burning piece of charcoal in it. Drizzle the remaining semn or butter over the charcoal. Arrange the lamb on top of the rice. Cover the tin/skillet tightly with aluminium foil and leave to stand for 10 minutes, so that  the rice and lamb absorb the smoky flavour. Uncover and remove the bowl with the charcoal.Serve hot, garnished with slivered almonds and chopped coriander.

Serves 4-5
Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes (including marination)
Cooking time: 60 minutes