Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
Winter sun! The weather is finally improving. After a reasonably pleasant December, the cold front was not fun. It did get us back into action and the attic of number 42 has now been insulated. The work was finished today.
My mood has lifted. We had people over for dinner last friday. We had Lamb Raan. Excellent. The Meera Sodha version which goes like this:
6 to 8 (a small army)
a large leg of lamb, around 2.5kg
1½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
the seeds from 6 cardamom pods
250ml whole-milk yogurt
7.5cm ginger, peeled and finely grated
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
150g ground almonds
the juice of ½ a lemon
1½ tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
The day before you want to serve the dish, score the leg of lamb with a sharp knife, making deep cuts in crosses on both sides, and set aside. In a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar, grind the cumin, coriander seeds, black peppercorns and cardamom together. Put the spices in a large bowl, and add the yogurt, ginger, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, chilli powder, ground cinnamon and two teaspoons of salt. Rub the marinade on to the lamb and into the grooves, then transfer to a large polythene food bag or a casserole dish and cover. Leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day, about three hours before you want to serve, preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Transfer the lamb to a deep roasting tray, pour 125ml of water into the tray and loosely cover with foil. Cook for two and a quarter hours for lamb that is pink in the middle, and two and a half hours if you like it more well done.
Forty-five minutes before the finished cooking time, add the unpeeled shallots to the pan and lightly drizzle with oil. With 20 minutes to go remove the foil so that the lamb browns nicely. Take the meat out of the oven, cover with foil and rest it for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.