Masala Raan or Masala Lamb Shanks … Amritsari way

Now we are in Punjab  … Then this is a spectacular dish of Amritsar again … Though Amritsari cuisine is influenced by Mughal cuisine but richness of the cuisine comes  due to spice … Meat is tenderized the same way of roasting … But the difference is in the curry ..

The raan is one of those spectacular restaurant dishes that always create a stir when served at the table. Usually described as a whole roast leg of mutton, it should be vast and impressive; lots of red meat with a texture that is soft and melting. The way the raan is often described, you would think that it is the Indian equivalent of British roast lamb – the same dish but with Indian spices.. Most traditional Indian recipes call for goat – which is the point of the dish.

A goat has four legs. The front two – often called the dast– represent the choicest part of the animal. Most Indian goat recipes use the front part of the animal. The meat at the back, including the two hind legs, is regarded as inferior. The point of the raan is that it comes from the hind legs. Because this meat is tough and difficult to cook, it is usually minced and used for keema …The raan became popular not in the era of the nawabs but during the empire when Brits longed for a meaty, not particularly spicy, dish.

The crucial part of the recipe consists of trimming the white membranes around the leg which make the meat tough. Then, the raan is marinated for a couple of hours with lots of malt vinegar, salt, red chilli, ginger, garlic. Whereas papaya would pulverise the meat, the malt vinegar tenderises it and contributes to the flavour. Then, the raan is seared for a few minutes, braised in a little water, put in a convection oven for an hour and 20 minutes, and then basted with ghee and finished in the tandoor for 20 minutes. It is a long and complicated process.

Ingredients

  • Leg of kid lamb 1 (1 1/4 kg)

  • Onion cut into rings1 large

  • Fresh mint leaves 1 sprigs

  • For marinade

  • Raw papaya paste 4-5 tablespoons

  • Garlic paste 1 1/2 tablespoons

  • Ginger paste 1 1/2 tablespoons

  • Salt to taste

  • For masala

  • Oil 1/2 cup

  • Onions chopped6 large

  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon

  • Garlic paste 1 teaspoon

  • Tomatoes chopped4 large

  • Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Coriander powder 2 tablespoons

  • Roasted cumin powder 1 tablespoon

  • Red chilli powder 3-4 teaspoons

  • Green cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Garam masala powder 1/2 tablespoon

  • Yogurt whisked1 cup

  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped2 tablespoons

  • Salt to taste

 
Method

  • Clean the leg of lamb and make slashes. Combine papaya paste, garlic paste, ginger paste and salt and apply it on the leg. Keep in a refrigerator to marinate for a few hours.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add onions to the hot oil and sauté on medium heat till light golden. Add ginger paste and garlic paste and continue to sauté. Add tomatoes and sauté.
  • Grease an oven tray and place the marinated leg of lamb on it. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder to the masala in the pan and continue to sauté.Add green cardamom powder, garam masala powder and mix.
  • Add yogurt and mix. Add coriander leaves and salt and mix. Pour this masala over the leg.
  • Cover with aluminium foil and keep the tray in the preheated oven. Cook at 180°C for forty to forty five minutes. Then lower the temperature to 140°C and cook for an hour.
  • Serve hot garnished with onion rings and a sprig of mint leaves.

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