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Easy Week Night Dinners – Lightly Spiced Roast Lamb With Pearl Onions

I had  been  dreaming  of  Raan   recently. Raan is a  roast bone  in  leg  of  lamb  marinated  in  aromatic  spices. The meat is is  fall of  the bone  tender, and  fragrant.   Honestly I am not  a big  fan of  lamb,  but   these recipes  are  so  delicious that  the  temptation to  try it  becomes  very hard  to  ignore.  A few mouthfuls  .. until the  craving  strikes in another  year  or  so:-) . My family on the other  hand  loves  lamb, be  it  curried, grilled or  roasted.  So yes we do end  up cooking   lamb  more  than once a  year !

Roast Lamb With Indian SpicesThe bone  in leg  of  lamb is  not  something  that  I can  find  in the  stores  here  where as  lamb chops  are  much easier to come  by.When I found  a few lamb shoulder chops –  my grocery store  here  calls  it o-bone  chops – the other day , I decided  to go for it.  These  were  perfect  for a   simple  roast lamb dinner for  two !

The traditional  Raan  recipe  is  very time  consuming as  it calls  for  the leg  of  lamb.  Long marination is  required to make the  meat   tender, often  the lamb is marinated overnight.   Shoulder  chops  are   much more  tender  and  thinner, making  30 minutes  enough  for  magic of  marinade to happen.  Another  point  in  its  favor  is  that  it  takes  much less  cook  time,   making  it  perfect  for  week night  meals.   You could plan  ahead, marinate  the  lamb  and  place  covered  in  the  fridge  to be  cooked  in   the  evening.

Lamb is  a naturally flavorful  meat.   A  touch of  spices is  all  it  needs.  I have  added a  little  garam  masala ,  cumin , ginger  , garlic  and   yogurt.  If  you like  it  spicy add  more  pepper or  cayenne.

Roast Lamb With Indian Spices

An oven  safe  skillet  is  the pan for this   dish, brown   the meat  on the stove  top and   transfer  to the oven  all in the  same  dish.  My trusty cast  iron skillet  does  this  job the best ! The  cast iron is  very  good   at  retaining  heat.

While  the  oven is  preheating, you can  heat  the  skillet   and  brown the  meat.  Couple minutes  on each side  is  all it  needs.  Once  it is  browned  on both sides  pour  the  remaining  marinade  mixed  with a  little  water  over  the lamb.  Turn off  the  heat a cover and  transfer  the pan to the  oven. Let  it  cook for  about  20 minutes .

In the  same trip to the  grocery store , I found a  bag  of  mixed  pearl onions- purple, yellow and  white.  We love  pearl onions  and  pickled   vinegar  onions  are  often  found on our  dinner  table.  These  were  very  reasonably priced  and  I  couldn’t let it pass.   These colorful onions  were  the  perfect accompaniment for  the  lamb .

You could  use other  vegetable as well –  turnips, potatoes   and  carrots  are  all good  options.   Uncover and add  the  onions.  Alternately you could add  the   vegetables  as the lamb goes  into the  oven. If  you were  using  large  vegetables  that is  what  I  would  have  done.     Roast  for an  additional 20 minutes.

Remove  from the oven and  let  it  rest  covered  for 10 minutes  before  serving .

Roast Lamb With Indian Spices

Doesn’t  that  look inviting!  I  served  these  with a  side  salad  of  carrot and  cucumber  ribbons.    You could  make  it  into a one pot  meal for  two by adding  a mix  of  vegetables along  with the  lamb like – potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and  turnips.   Another option is  to  double  the  marinade  and  let  it  become  a  nice  sauce,  and  serve  the  lamb  along  with few  naan  breads or Kulcha.

Serve  with a  side  salad , a piece of bread or  some potatoes.

Roast Lamb With Indian Spices

Roast Lamb With Indian Spices

By Syama
Looking  for a  special dinner  to make  for  2 on  a  weeknight ?   This  might  be  it.   This roast  lamb  does  not  require much hands on  cooking  time.  The flavors  are  lovely.  I love  to serve  this  with  pearl onions , but  it  taste  wonderful with  almost  any root  vegetable. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion, Indian
Servings 2 Servings


  • 1 lb Lamb Shoulder chops About 2
  • 15 Pearl onions
  • 2 Tbsp Oil

For The Marinade

  • 1/4 C Plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Minced/Grated
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt To Taste


Marinate the meat

  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade. Taste and adjust salt - the marinate should feel salty. Make a few tiny slashes into the meat and rub the marinade all over. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). While the oven is preheating take an oven safe skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan when hot . Rub the marinate off the lamb chops and place them on the hot skillet. Do not discard the remaining marinade. Brown for 2 minutes. Flip the chops and cook for another minute.
  • Add 1/2 C water to the remaining marinade and mix well. Pour over the lamb chops evenly. Loosely cover the skillet with an aluminium foil and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
  • Skin the pearl onions. Remove the skillet from the oven and add the onions. Do not cover and return to the oven . Cook for another 20 to 25 minutes remove from the oven and cover and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving .


  • The recipe here creates a well done roast lamb assuming about 1 inch thick cuts. The internal temperature should be 145°F for rare 160°F for medium and 170°F for well done.
  • Add Cayenne  to the  marinade for a spicier version.

Important: Nutrition Values are estimates. Actuals vary based on ingredients and serving size.

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Roast lamb With Indian Spices



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Recipe Rating

Caroline W

Thursday 13th of September 2018

Hello , This has become our favorite meal for 2 ! We have made it a few times so a fat and it turned out great every time !!!