The Romertopf roaster (see The Clay Way) is the perfect vessel in which to cook this Indian-style pot roast, which is typically prepared in a South Asian clay pot called a handi. Belonging to the family of slow, steam-cooked moghul dishes called dum pukht, this lamb is coated in a spice paste made with saffron, coconut, almonds, and yogurt.
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 3″ piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups golden raisins
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1⁄3 cup blanched almonds
- 2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. garam masala
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 3 tsp. saffron
- 4 serrano chiles, stemmed
- 1 1⁄2 cups yogurt
- 1 6-7-lb. leg of lamb, boned
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
- In a food processor, pulse garlic, onions, ginger, raisins, coconut, almonds, 2 tbsp. garam masala, sugar, 2 tsp. saffron, and 3 chiles to a paste. Add 1⁄2 cup yogurt; pulse to combine. With a sharp knife, make 1⁄4″-deep cuts all over lamb. Season inside of lamb with salt; rub with half the yogurt mixture, working it into the cuts. Roll lamb into a cylinder; tie at 1″ intervals with kitchen twine. Season outside of lamb with salt; rub with remaining yogurt mixture. Cover; let marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Finely chop remaining chile; combine with lime juice and remaining garam masala, saffron, and yogurt in a small bowl. Refrigerate sauce.
- Soak Romertopf roaster in water for 15 minutes; drain. Put sliced onion into bottom of pot; top with lamb. Cover, place in a cold oven; turn heat to 325°. Bake until lamb is tender, about 3 hours. Uncover; cook, basting occasionally with juices, until browned, about 30 minutes more. Transfer lamb to a cutting board. Pour juices and onions into a 2-qt. saucepan; boil over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Transfer onions to a platter with a slotted spoon. Slice lamb and lay over onions; drizzle with reduced juices and garnish with cilantro. Serve with the yogurt sauce.