Nothing says celebration like the aromas of a juicy ‘Holiday Roast’ at the center of our dinner table.
This year, we hope to inspire the focal point of your get-togethers and family dinners, by bringing mouthwatering flavors from the Indian sub-continent’s North-West Frontier cuisine to your holiday table.
Well-known for its use of distinct flavorings like saffron, nuts & dried fruits; this cuisine offers a meat-centric diet, perhaps due to the region’s colder climate & tricky mountainous terrain, which historically made hunting a more viable food option.
Furthermore, owing to its proximity to the famous Spice Route, you’ll notice a marked change in the spice equation of North-West Frontier food; a predominance of warmer Indian spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorn and the like.
Today’s seasonal Holiday Roast Leg of Lamb takes its inspiration from Tandoori ‘Raan’ (word meaning hind leg of goat,) a North-West Frontier cuisine specialty. Being a tougher cut of meat, ‘Raan’ is slow cooked at a low temperature and finished in a super hot Tandoor oven, where it achieves its signature char and flavor. The result is a decadently delicious and moist meat preparation that is tender enough to eat with a fork.
How do we create this mouthwatering magic at your holiday table?
We take a boneless Australian leg of lamb (bone-in is also good, though it needs a longer cook time) and marinade it overnight in ingredients similar to a traditional ‘Raan’ roast. At first, the lamb is roasted at a high temperature to get that eye-appealing char, and then slow-cooked at a lower temperature to render a succulent Roast Leg of Lamb.
As always, nothing goes to waste in an Indian kitchen…Using the flavor-filled leftover marinade and pan drippings, we suggest a simple way to create a delicious ‘dip-n-mop’ sauce to go along with the roast.
Wait, there’s more…
To enhance the holiday flare of this meal, we offer an easy side of oven-roasted Minty Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips; their refreshing taste makes an ideal accompaniment to our meaty and decadent Holiday Roast Leg of Lamb.
A ‘Raan-inspired’ Holiday Roast Leg of Lamb
This recipe is part of my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ which offers Indian Inspired recipes for your occasions, holidays and entertaining. Click This Link for Details.
Using old Indian entertaining wisdom and today’s modern approach to food from a global perspective, my cookbook ‘Spice Up Your Celebration’ offers an easy to prepare collection of mouthwatering recipes that can be used for any occasion from intimate family and friends dinners, to hosting larger holiday celebrations.
As always, my dishes are inspired by India’s varied and flavorful smorgasbord of regional cuisines and made with everyday fresh ingredients, basic spices and simple step-wise directions.
Minty Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips
1 ½ lb sweet potatoes cut in large pieces
1 lb parsnips cut in large pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
½ teaspoon amchur/ dried mango powder*
¾ teaspoon of salt + kosher salt to sprinkle at the end
1 teaspoon black pepper
*If you don’t have amchur/ dried mango powder on hand, leave it out or replace with Chaat masala.
Preheat (or turn up) the oven to 425F.
On a large sheet pan, toss the sweet potatoes, parsnips, chopped mint leaves, dried mango powder/amchur and seasonings along with olive oil.
Roast the root vegetables for 25-30 minutes (a hot oven is the key to roasting vegetables; don’t open the oven to peek while they cook.) When done, sprinkle kosher salt and lemon juice over the sweet potatoes and parsnips.
Serve the steaming hot Minty Sweet Potatoes and Parsnips as an accompaniment to the Holiday Roast Leg of Lamb or as a side to your favorite meal.