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Tandoori Leg of Lamb with Cucumber Raita

Tandoori Leg of Lamb with Cucumber Raita
Be sure to purchase a boneless leg of lamb, and ask the butcher to butterfly it. This involves cutting the meat almost all the way through so it can be opened up to lie relatively flat, like a book. After marinating the butterflied lamb, roll and tie it with kitchen string.

Ingredients:

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, about 5 lb., butterflied
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup tandoori grilling paste

For the cucumber raita:

  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, store-bought or homemade
      (see related recipe at right)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. lightly toasted ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 large red onions, halved and cut into slices 1/4
      inch thick
  • Warmed pita bread for serving (optional)

Directions:

Generously season the lamb with salt. Rub the tandoori paste over the meat and place in a large sealable plastic bag. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat an oven to 375ºF.

Remove the lamb from the bag. Roll up the lamb and tie with kitchen string at 2-inch intervals. Place in a roasting pan and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 130ºF for medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the cucumber raita: Place the grated cucumber between several layers of paper towels and press gently to absorb excess moisture. Transfer the cucumber to a bowl. Add the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and stir until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Transfer the lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the onions in the roasting pan, set over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the string from the lamb and carve into thin slices. Transfer the onions to a warmed platter and arrange the lamb on top. Serve immediately with the cucumber raita and pita bread. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.