Raan (Lamb Leg Roast)

Raan is a South Asian specialty made during the holidays or for special occasions. It's a lamb leg roast, slathered with masala and garlic and slow cooked or slow roasted until it's falling off the bone. 

There are many different ways to roast your lamb but here I will show you my favorite way to prepare this succulent cut of meat and serve it. 


1 Lamb Leg (bone in or boneless)

1 tsp Red Chili Powder 

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Ground Cumin

2 tsp Coriander Powder 

1/2 tsp Garam Masala 

1 tsp Tandoori Masala (recipe here)

Salt to Taste

3 to 4 Green Cardamom

1/2 c. Yogurt

1/4 of a Raw Papaya 

3 to 4 Green Chilies 

2 tbsp Garlic/Ginger Paste (recipe here)

Wash and dry your lamb completely. If you don't like cooking with lamb because of its grimy smell soak your lamb in a bowl filled with water and 1 to 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar for 15 to 20 mins. Soaking your meat in vinegar helps pull out any grimy odor it may have. 

Add all your ingredients except the lamb to a blender and purée your marinade. Cut a couple slits at the top of your lamb leg to ensure the marinade gets down to the bone. Now rub the puréed marinade on your lamb, cover and let it marinate for 24 to 48 hrs. 

The raw papaya and yogurt help tenderize the large piece of meat to get you a tender, fall off the bone lamb. 

Once marinated pull out and let it come to room temp (pull it out an hour or two before cooking). 

While your meat is coming to room temp grind together:

2 tbsp Cashews

2 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut flakes 

2 tbsp Cream 

Set aside this mixture (this mixture will help thicken our gravy) and get a couple other ingredients ready:

1/4 cup Oil

1/4 to 1/2 cup Water 

1 c. Fried Onion (or a large onion fried golden brown)

Let's start cooking! Heat your oil in a pot or slow cooker (mine has a stove top option). Sear your lamb on all sides until brown. Reserve your left over marinade. 

While your lamb is searing mix your cashew mixture, fried onions and the reserved marinade. 

Throw in this mixture once your lamb is seared along with some water. Now cook it on medium to low heat until tender or in the slow cooker. I cooked mine on low for 2 hours and then high for another 2 hours. If you weren't going to be home and baby sitting the meat like I was, then cook it on low for 6 hours or high on 4 hours. 

If you do not have a slow cooker you can cook it in an oven safe roasting pan on 350'F covered with foil for 4 hours or on stove top the same way on medium/low heat. This can also be pressure cooker for 30 to 35 minutes for a quicker option! 

This is what it will look like about 30 mins before it's ready. It will be super tender but carefully pull out your lamb and reduce the liquid until it's a thick gravy. Then place back your leg of lamb gently and let it finish cooking and heating through for the last 30 mins. 

I love serving this beautiful slow cooked, roasted lamb over Kabuli Rice. A Persian specialty, you can find the recipe here. 

Piled high over rice as the gravy and juices from the meat soak the rice with its delicious flavor. 

Make it with a leg of lamb or smaller leg shanks. 

Enjoy this household holiday favorite with a side of Shami Kabobs (recipe here) , extra gravy to pour on the side and delicious mint and tamarind chutneys. 

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