Tandoori Leg of Lamb
Tandoori Leg of Lamb
5 from 71 votes
A dinner recipe that consists of a whole leg of lamb covered in a delicious blend of fragrant spices and then oven-roasted until tender and succulent. This is the next showstopper for Sunday dinner with a twist.
Tandoori Leg of Lamb

Tandoori Leg of Lamb! The mere mention of it sends my taste buds into overdrive, envisioning the melange of spices that awaken your palate and the lamb’s delicate flesh falling apart at the slightest touch. If you’re craving a culinary adventure, look no further.

Now, some say the concept of tandoori cooking originates from the Indian subcontinent, where a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven, is traditionally used. But this dish transcends borders and claims universal affection. Why? Because it’s just that good.

Let’s talk difficulty. Dare I say it? This recipe is not the easiest on the block, but it’s worth every ounce of effort. All it takes is some preparation, a little patience, and voila!

You have a majestic leg of lamb sitting in the middle of your dining table. Think of it as a culinary masterpiece that’s one part skill, two parts love.

So, what about variations? The original recipe calls for a leg of lamb, but if you’re keen to experiment, lamb shanks or even mutton pieces would do. It’s about maintaining that balance of spices and cooking time. Each meat cut has its own identity but can be an exciting twist to the classic.

The marinade is a sassy symphony of yoghurt and an array of spices. Yoghurt’s acidity tenderises the meat while the spices make it dance with flavours.

I’ve added garlic and ginger pastes for a bit of zing, chilli powder for heat, and paprika for that smoky undertone. A dash of lemon juice at the end brings a touch of zesty brightness that rounds everything off perfectly.

Now, don’t overlook the vegetables. I’m talking roasted potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and a colourful assortment of bell peppers. These little gems soak up the juices of the lamb, becoming irresistibly delicious. You could almost call them the co-stars of this grand production.

I must remind you, however, that marination time is your friend here. Ideally, let your lamb sit bathed in the spice mixture for at least 24 hours. Trust me; patience pays off.

Then, the slow roasting in the oven turns the marinated lamb into a tender, succulent feast, capturing all the aromatic spices in every fibre.

Are you ready to tackle this sublime Tandoori Leg of Lamb? Grab your apron and spices; we’re about to turn your kitchen into a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant!

What Ingredients to Use & Why

Each ingredient has been carefully selected to not only make your lamb sing but to create an unforgettable symphony of flavours. Let’s get to know these culinary stars up close, shall we?

Lamb Leg: The protagonist of our dish, the lamb leg is chosen for its succulence and ability to soak up flavours.

Its rich texture pairs brilliantly with the boldness of Indian spices, giving you a tender, juicy result. Alternative? Lamb shanks could work, but the meat may be a bit denser. The lamb leg gives us that melt-in-the-mouth experience we crave.

Yoghurt: Creamy yoghurt takes on the crucial role of tenderising the lamb. Its acidity breaks down the meat fibres, allowing spices to penetrate deeply. Coconut milk is an alternative, but it won’t give you quite the same tangy kick. Yoghurt also cools down the heat from the spices, creating a balanced profile.

Olive Oil: Olive oil acts as a binder, holding the spices and yoghurt together in a luscious marinade. It also helps in roasting the lamb to perfection. You could use avocado or grapeseed oil, but the unique flavour of olive oil adds an extra layer of richness.

Garlic and Ginger Pastes: These aromatic twins bring a punch of flavour and have the power to elevate the lamb from delicious to divine. They also have tenderising properties, working alongside yoghurt. Alternative? Minced garlic and ginger could work, but pastes blend more smoothly into the marinade.

Spices: Kashmiri Chilli, Chilli Powder, Paprika, Cumin, Coriander, Black Pepper, and Turmeric This exotic cocktail of spices forms the heart and soul of the tandoori marinade.

Each spice serves a purpose: Kashmiri chilli adds colour without excessive heat, cumin and coriander bring earthiness, while turmeric offers a vivid hue and peppery notes. If you can’t find one of these, substitute cautiously, but remember, the authentic flavour comes from this specific blend.

Lemon Juice: Last but not least, a splash of lemon juice adds zest and helps in tenderising the meat further. An alternative like lime juice could be used, but lemon juice provides that distinct sharpness that rounds off our marinade beautifully.

Vegetables: Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, and Carrots

Don’t underestimate the power of veggies. They soak up the lamb’s juices and marinade, turning into sumptuous bites of their own.

Each vegetable was picked for its ability to hold its shape and flavour when roasted. Feel free to substitute according to seasonal availability.

Each ingredient in this Tandoori Leg of Lamb recipe is a superstar in its own right. Together, they create a culinary experience that is as delightful to prepare as it is to devour. Happy cooking!

The Art of Marinating a Tandoori Leg of Lamb

The unsung hero in your Tandoori Leg of Lamb has to be the marinade. You see, marination isn’t just about drowning your lamb leg in a pool of yoghurt and spices; it’s an art form.

Understanding how each ingredient in the marinade interacts with the meat is the secret to unlocking those layers of flavour.

First, let’s chat about yoghurt. This creamy delight is your tenderiser-in-chief. The acidic nature of yoghurt helps break down the meat fibres, allowing the spices to seep into the innermost sanctuaries of your lamb leg. It acts as a base, tying all the elements together into one glorious blend.

Next in line are the aromatic garlic and ginger pastes. These two are the heartbeats of any Indian marinade.

Their potent flavours penetrate deep into the meat, and their enzymatic properties assist in tenderising the meat even further. Think of them as the supporting cast that elevates the star of the show.

Spices, ah, the soul of Tandoori Leg of Lamb. The blend of Kashmiri chilli, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, and the other spices is like the script of a blockbuster movie.

Each one adds a different nuance, and when combined, they deliver a compelling story. Skimp on one, and you risk losing the essence of the dish.

Finally, a nod to olive oil and lemon juice. These two may seem like extras in a big-budget film, but they serve critical roles. Olive oil ensures everything blends harmoniously, while a squirt of lemon juice adds that zesty finale, much like the climax of a good story.

Perfect Sides to Serve with Your Tandoori Leg of Lamb

Wondering what to serve alongside your perfectly cooked Tandoori Leg of Lamb? A dish this opulent deserves accompaniments that are equally elegant yet understated enough to not steal the limelight. Here’s how to curate a spread that complements the star attraction.

Let’s start with bread. Naan or Tandoori Roti provides a fluffy, slightly charred canvas that’s perfect for mopping up any lingering juices and marinade. This bread not only serves a utilitarian purpose but also brings in traditional Indian dining elements to the table.

For the rice aficionados, a simple Pulao or even a more elaborate Biryani can make your Tandoori Leg of Lamb meal transcend into a feast. Just remember, if the rice dish is spicy or flavoured, balance it out so that the lamb remains the protagonist.

Salads with a tangy dressing can cut through the richness of the lamb. Think fresh greens like arugula or spinach with a lemon-honey dressing. The acidity and sweetness play well against the complex spice profile of the Tandoori Leg of Lamb.

Let’s not forget drinks. Lassi, a traditional Indian yoghurt drink, is an excellent choice here. You could go for a sweet lassi to balance the spiciness, or a salty one to keep the tanginess going. Both work incredibly well to cleanse the palate.

And finally, chutneys and pickles. A mint chutney or a tangy mango pickle can add an extra layer of complexity, elevating each bite of your lamb to a new culinary height. Just a dab will do, as these are potent and can quickly overwhelm the dish if used excessively.

The Importance of Cooking Temperature in Tandoori Leg of Lamb

Ah, cooking temperature. It’s the equivalent of a director’s skill in the movie industry; mess it up, and even the best actors (ingredients, in our case) can’t save the show. When preparing Tandoori Leg of Lamb, temperature plays a crucial role in ensuring the meat is cooked just right—juicy, tender, and flavourful.

Let’s first talk about the preheating phase. It’s important to bring your oven to the right temperature before the lamb makes its grand entrance. This ensures that the meat starts cooking immediately, sealing in the juices. So preheating to 180°C is non-negotiable, my friends.

Now, why the flip and temperature change, you might wonder. After the initial slow cooking phase, flipping the lamb ensures even cooking. Upping the temperature to 200°C is like the climax in a thriller movie.

 It adds a crisp outer layer to the meat, giving you that perfect balance of texture—crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

But let’s not forget the resting period. Allowing the leg of lamb to rest is like letting the audience soak in the movie’s ending. The juices redistribute within the meat, making each bite perfectly moist.

Resting also makes slicing much easier. Imagine cutting into the meat immediately after taking it out of the oven; it would be like walking out of a movie just as the plot twist is revealed.

And, of course, let’s tip our hats to the oven thermometer. If you don’t own one, consider investing. Ovens can be finicky, and a few degrees can make the difference between well-cooked and well, a culinary disaster. Trust me; this little device can be a lifesaver.

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Lamb Leg for Tandoori Cooking

Choosing the right leg of lamb is the first step to making a spectacular Tandoori Leg of Lamb. It’s the casting decision that sets the tone for the rest of the dish. So let’s delve into what to look for when you’re in the meat aisle.

The size matters, not just for cooking times but for flavour. A medium-sized leg is usually the safest bet. It’s large enough to serve a family but small enough to cook evenly. Anything too large or too small could lead to uneven cooking or insufficient marination.

Freshness is key. Look for a leg with a good, even colour and a pleasant smell. A good piece of lamb should be more red than brown and should smell, well, meaty. Any off-putting smell is a red flag. Trust your nose; it knows.

Marbling is another indicator of quality. While you don’t want a leg that’s too fatty, some fat is essential for flavour and tenderness. A nice, even marbling throughout the leg will keep the meat moist during cooking and impart a richer flavour.

Don’t shy away from bone-in options. The bone not only adds flavour but also aids in even cooking. It’s the core that radiates heat, ensuring that the inside gets cooked just as well as the outside. Think of it as the internal oven for your lamb leg.

Lastly, ask your butcher for advice. They’re the experts, and they can guide you to the best cuts available. A knowledgeable butcher can also offer tips on cooking times based on the size and type of the leg you choose.

The Ultimate Veggie Companions for Your Tandoori Leg of Lamb

We all know that Tandoori Leg of Lamb is the rockstar, the main event, the headliner, but even rockstars need a great backup band.

Enter the veggies, the unsung heroes that add not just colour but also an extra kick of taste and nutrition to your plate. Let’s take a moment to shine a spotlight on these supporting actors, shall we?

First up, potatoes. Ah, the versatile spud. Its ability to soak up flavours makes it a perfect accompaniment to the rich, spicy marination of our lamb. Roasting the potatoes alongside the meat allows them to absorb some of those glorious juices, turning them into a side dish worthy of the main course.

Now, onto broccoli. This green tree-like veggie is not just for health fanatics. Roasted to perfection, it offers a slightly bitter counterpoint to the spiciness of the lamb, a yin to the lamb’s yang if you will. And let’s face it; we could all use a bit more green in our diets.

Bell peppers bring colour and a subtle sweetness, balancing out the overall profile of the dish. The high heat caramelizes the natural sugars in bell peppers, enhancing their flavour. When it comes to peppers, feel free to mix and match colours for a more visually striking dish.

Last but not least, let’s talk about cherry tomatoes. These little bursts of freshness add both colour and a tangy zing. When roasted, their flavours concentrate, and they turn slightly sweet, providing a delightful contrast to the heaviness of the meat.

These veggies not only elevate the overall eating experience but also ensure you get a well-rounded meal. Bravo!

Navigating the Spices in Tandoori Leg of Lamb

We’ve talked a lot about the meat and the veggies, but what about the spices? Ah, the spices are like the screenplay to our movie analogy, the framework upon which the entire dish is built. So, let’s dig into what makes this Tandoori Leg of Lamb script, ahem, recipe so magnificent.

Cumin and coriander powders are the dynamic duo in our story. These spices provide a deep, earthy undertone, setting the stage for the rest of the flavours to shine. Think of them as the foundation upon which a great film—or dish—is built.

Turmeric powder, or ‘Haldi’ as it’s known in Hindi, is the golden child of the spice world. It adds colour and subtle flavour, playing a similar role to a film’s cinematographer, transforming ordinary scenes—or in our case, ordinary meat—into something visually stunning.

Black pepper and chilli powder are our action heroes, adding a dash of thrill and adventure to the mix. They pack heat and give the recipe its kick, elevating the lamb from a mere dish to an unforgettable experience.

Finally, there’s lemon juice. Think of it as the editing room of our culinary movie. It brightens the flavours, cutting through the richness of the meat and melding all the spices together into a cohesive, delightful masterpiece.

Tandoori Leg of Lamb: The Secret Behind Cooking Times and Weight Ratios

When diving into a culinary adventure, like making Tandoori Leg of Lamb, knowing the timing is as crucial as nailing that high note in a ballad. It’s the pulse, the rhythm, the heartbeat of your dish.

Cooking times aren’t just numbers; they’re guidelines to culinary greatness, ensuring each bite is infused with flavour and tenderness. The general rule of thumb is approximately 25 minutes per 500 grams of lamb.

The size of the lamb leg can significantly affect cooking time. Bigger isn’t always better, you know. A larger leg requires a longer cooking period but can result in a more succulent dish. It gives the spices more time to integrate into the meat, building a rich flavour profile.

Of course, oven temperatures come into play too. Starting at a moderate heat of 180°C lets the lamb slowly soak up all those tantalizing spices, ensuring they penetrate deep into the meat. Then, a quick blast at 200°C at the end achieves that coveted crispy outer layer, locking in all the juicy goodness.

But hold your horses, we’re not done yet. Let’s talk about resting time. After all that high heat action, our star of the show deserves a break. Giving it at least 20 minutes to rest allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring each slice is as juicy as the last.

A masterclass on cooking times and weight ratios for the perfect Tandoori Leg of Lamb. When your guests rave about how delicious and tender your dish is, just wink and say, “Timing is everything.”

How to Store and Reheat Leftover Tandoori Leg of Lamb

The Tandoori Leg of Lamb was a hit, everyone’s gone home, and you’re left staring at the remainders of your culinary masterpiece. No worries, those leftovers can still steal the show another day. Proper storage and reheating are the keys to preserving that restaurant-quality taste.

Firstly, refrigeration is your best friend. Make sure to store your leftover lamb in an airtight container within two hours of cooking. This helps to prevent any bacterial growth and keeps those aromatic spices from losing their oomph.

Freezing is another option, especially if you don’t plan on eating the leftovers anytime soon. A vacuum-sealed bag is ideal, but you can also use a zip-top bag with the air pressed out. Just make sure to consume it within three months to avoid freezer burn.

Reheating is where the magic happens, transforming last night’s dinner into today’s encore. The oven is the go-to method for this. Heat at 180°C until the internal temperature reaches at least 74°C. This ensures that the meat is safe to eat and retains its succulent texture.

Microwaving is quick and convenient, but let’s be honest, it’s not doing your gourmet dish any favours. The uneven heating can turn your delicious lamb into rubbery disappointment. So stick with the oven for reheating; it’s worth the extra time.

Your quick guide to enjoying Tandoori Leg of Lamb round two, or even round three. Because let’s face it, a dish this good deserves an encore.

Achieving the Perfect Crust on Your Tandoori Leg of Lamb

The perfect crust: the nirvana of meat cooking and the crowning glory of your Tandoori Leg of Lamb.

We’re not talking about something as simple as a ‘brown exterior.’ Oh no, my culinary friends, achieving that quintessential crust is an art form. The balance of spices, heat, and timing has to be just so.

First, let’s talk marinade. This zesty combo of spices and yoghurt isn’t just for flavour; it’s also your secret weapon for crust creation.

The acidity in the yoghurt acts as a tenderizer, but when exposed to high heat, it’s the maestro of crust formation. The sugars and proteins interact in a magical dance, forming that crispy yet succulent outer layer.

Now let’s discuss spices—Kashmiri chilli, paprika, black pepper—they’re not just along for the ride. These earthy spices act like a support crew for the crust, creating flavour depths that resonate with each bite. It’s an ensemble cast, where each spice plays a part but no one steals the show.

Of course, oven temperature is a crucial factor. Remember that last burst of high heat I mentioned earlier? That’s your crust’s moment to shine. At 200°C, the oven is basically your personal crust-making machine. But don’t leave it in too long; overcooking will rob you of that juicy interior we all crave.

Health Benefits of Eating Tandoori Leg of Lamb

Believe it or not, your scrumptious Tandoori Leg of Lamb is more than just a feast for your taste buds; it’s a bit of a health boost too. But let’s not get carried away; moderation is key, alright?

Let’s talk protein. A single serving of lamb is packed with essential amino acids—your body’s building blocks. Ideal for those looking to build muscle, recover from a workout, or simply stay sated for longer periods.

Omega-3 fatty acids are usually associated with fish, but lamb has a fair share too. These essential fats have been linked to a myriad of health benefits, including improved mental health. Yes, you read that right. A delicious lamb roast might just cheer you up!

Iron and zinc are other noteworthy mentions. Both crucial minerals, they support the immune system and contribute to a healthy metabolism. Plus, the iron in lamb is easily absorbed by the body, making it an excellent option for people who are prone to anaemia.

Spices, glorious spices! The spices in our Tandoori Leg of Lamb recipe are not just flavour enhancers; they come with their own health merits. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, ginger aids digestion, and garlic has a reputation for being good for the heart.

Check Out These Other Recipes

If you’ve been entranced by the smoky allure of my Tandoori Leg of Lamb, then honey, you’re in for a feast of flavours with these other tantalizing recipes.

You know how I love to fire up the grill, and let me tell ya, Tandoori Lamb Chops are another juicy, grilled masterpiece that will make you rethink your weekly dinner plans. The spices just seep into every pore of the meat, delivering a powerful punch of flavour with each bite.

But what’s a grilled feast without some Chicken Tandoori? Picture this: succulent chicken marinated in a blend of yogurt and spices, then cooked to smoky perfection. It’s the sibling your Tandoori Leg of Lamb didn’t know it needed.

Now let’s not forget the staples. Naan Bread, so warm and soft, it’s like a fluffy cloud sent from carb heaven. Slather it with some butter or dunk it into curries; it’s versatile and oh-so satisfying.

Speaking of curry, my Lamb Karahi is the stuff of dreams. Tender chunks of lamb simmered in a robust curry infused with aromatic spices and herbs—it’s the comfort food you didn’t know you were missing. Pair it with some naan, and you’ve got yourself a symphony of flavours.

To cleanse your palate, you’ve got to try my Mint Raita. It’s this cool, tangy, and slightly spicy yogurt dip that serves as the perfect sidekick to any grilled or spicy dish, making it a must-try companion to your Tandoori Leg of Lamb.

So there you go, lovelies! From the grill to the stove, these recipes promise a culinary journey through Indian cuisine you won’t soon forget. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so don’t forget to leave some feedback in the comments section.

Tandoori Leg of Lamb

Tandoori Lamb Leg

by Nabeela Kauser
A dinner recipe that consists of a whole leg of lamb covered in a delicious blend of fragrant spices and then oven-roasted until tender and succulent. This is the next showstopper for Sunday dinner with a twist.
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Marination Time 1 hour
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 388 kcal



  • 1 Lamb leg
  • 150 g Yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli
  • 1 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice




  • In a large bowl add all the wet and dry ingredients together to make the marinade then whisk until well combined
  • Place the lamb leg onto a roasting tray lined with foil and use a knife to cut several deep slashes into the leg of the lamb – this will ensure that the lamb leg is cooked through and evenly
  • Add half of the marinade onto one side of the lamb and rub the mixture all over the lamb, including inside the cuts then flip the lamb over and add the remaining mixture and repeat the same process – it is very important that the masala is spread everywhere to ensure maximum flavour then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, for best results try to leave it for 24 hours
  • Cover the lamb with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) gas mark 4 for 2 hours – this will depend on the exact size of leg of lamb that is used, and it is important that you adjust the cooking time as necessary, as a rule the cooking time is approximately 25 mins per 500g of lamb
  • Remove the foil and add your desired vegetables around the leg of lamb – depending on personal preference the vegetables can be altered but ensure that the vegetables are all approximately equal size to ensure that they are evenly cooked
  • Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and add a pinch of salt and black pepper then mix the vegetables to ensure that everything is mixed evenly and well combined
  • Flip the lamb leg over and increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F) gas mark 6 and cook for a further 30 minutes until the vegetables are all roasted and cooked through
  • Allow the leg of lamb to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving then enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 388kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 51gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 1370mgPotassium: 866mgFibre: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 882IUVitamin C: 4mgVitamin D: 0.02µgCalcium: 81mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Food, Lamb, Leg of Lamb, Recipe, Roast Dinner, Spicy, Tandoori
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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