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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)

Thickening Cooking Gravy:

  • 2 tbsp Cashews

  • 2 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut flakes 

  • 2 tbsp Cream 

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Water 

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

Cooking Oil:

  • 1/4 cup Oil or Ghee


  1. Wash and dry your lamb completely.

  2. 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.

  3. Soaking your meat in vinegar helps pull out any grimy odor it may have. 

  4. Add all your marinade ingredients except the lamb to a blender and purée your marinade.

  5. Cut a couple slits at the top of your lamb leg to ensure the marinade gets down to the bone. 

  6. Now rub the puréed marinade on your lamb, cover and let it marinate for 24 to 48 hrs. 

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

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

  9. While your meat is coming to room temp grind together your thickening cooking mixture.

  10. If you have nut allergies you can omit the cashews.

  11. Let's start cooking!

  12. Heat your oil in a pot or slow cooker (mine has a stove top option).

  13. Sear your lamb on all sides until brown.

  14. Mix your leftover marinade from the marinating bowl or pan with your cashew thickening cooking mixture and set aside.

  15. Once your lamb is seared on both sides, add to a foil pan or slow cooker.

  16. Add the reserved thickening mixture you had set aside over the seared lamb.

  17. For oven cooking, double your foil tray and wrap the tray with 3 layers of aluminum foil and bake on 500'F for 1 hour then lower heat to 350'F for 2 hours or until fork tender.

  18. For slow cooker cooking, cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

  19. After cooking if you find your gravy is too thin, you may pour it into a pot and cook it down to thicken before pouring over to serve.

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

  21. This recipe can also be made with lamb shanks.

Enjoy this household holiday favorite with a side of Shami Kabobs (recipe here) , on a bed of Kabuli Pulao Rice (recipe here), extra gravy to pour on the side, and delicious mint and Tamarind Chutneys (recipe here)

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