Spiced roast lamb with pumpkin and sultanas

Spiced roast lamb with pumpkin and sultanas

Run-e bareh

Mark Roper

I am always looking for interesting new ways to brighten up a roast leg of lamb, and a spice paste is a surefire way to add flavour. Persian spice mixes range from simple combinations of one or two flavours to complex creations that include esoteric spices such as angelica, dried rose petals and dried-lime powder. This is an easy Persian-inspired spice blend that’s turned into a paste with the addition of garlic and oil and features a touch of chilli heat. The pumpkin and sultanas really bring out the underlying sweetness of the meat.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 2.5kg leg of lamb
80ml olive oil
600g peeled pumpkin, cut into chunks
2 purple onions, cut into quarters
1/4 cup sultanas
splash verjuice
rice and yoghurt, to serve

Spice paste

Quantity Ingredient
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
50ml olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. To make the spice paste, combine the garlic, shallot, chilli and salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the remaining spices and pound again to incorporate thoroughly. Stir in the oil. Use your fingers to rub the paste all over the lamb, working it in thoroughly.
  3. Pour half the oil into a heavy-based roasting pan, then add the lamb and cook in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180ºC and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and add the remaining oil. Scatter in the pumpkin, onion and sultanas, tossing them around in the spicy oil to coat. Return the pan to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes. Check from time to time and turn the vegetables to ensure they cook evenly.
  4. Check for doneness – at this stage, the lamb should be cooked medium–rare. Return to the oven for a little longer, if you prefer it less pink. Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving – the vegetables can be kept warm in the oven if they are done. Serve with the pan juices and vegetables, your choice of rice and lots of yoghurt.
Middle Eastern
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