Saffron roast lamb

Saffron roast lamb

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes, plus 1 hour’s marinating time
  • 45 minutes

“My family will once again enjoy one of the most famous dishes you’re likely to find on many Eid tables. Each family’s recipe differs and I’ve adapted mine to keep our meal interesting yet familiar, a modern version of an old favourite to keep people of all ages happy and satisfied.” – Faathima Manjoo


  • 2 T vinegar
  • 5 slices leg of lamb (about the size of your palm)
  • butter, for dotting
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • fresh herbs, to garnish
  • For the marinade, blend:
  • ½ cup sour milk
  • ½ cup plain double-cream yoghurt
  • 1 cup fried onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 5 t Woolworths lamb rub (this ingredient makes it better than your grandma’s!)
  • 1 t rough red chilli flakes
  • a few strands saffron
  • salt, to taste
  • For the saffron cream:
  • 1 head garlic
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 t white onion soup powder
  • ½ cup coconut cream
  • 2 cups fresh cream
  • a few strands saffron
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t crushed red chilli flakes

Cooking Instructions

1. Mix the vinegar with enough water to cover the meat. Soak the lamb in the mixture for 15 minutes, then rinse well and drain.

2. Blend the marinade ingredients to make a fine paste.

3. Rub the lamb with the marinade and dot each piece with butter. Place in a roasting pan, then marinate in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.

4. Remove the lamb from the fridge an hour before cooking. Coat the base of a flat-bottomed saucepan with cooking spray, then add the lamb in a single layer.

5. Drizzle generously with olive oil, cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the lamb. Add a little water if necessary.

6. To make the saffron cream, remove the outer skin of the garlic, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until the garlic oozes out easily when pressed.

7. Place the garlic in a pan with the butter and sauté lightly. Mix the soup powder with the coconut cream until smooth, then add to the pan with the cream and saffron. Season to taste and add the chilli flakes. Pour the hot cream over the lamb. Garnish with fresh herbs to serve.

Cook's note: Serve this saffron roast lamb with a well-dressed salad, sweet vegetables and fresh, hot bread with butter. Shred the leftovers to make a sandwich with mayo, tomato and lettuce.

Find more lamb recipes here. 

Photograph: Jan Ras 
Production: Bianca Strydom
Food assistant: Ellah Maepa 

Faathima Manjoo Recipe by: Faathima Manjoo
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Faathima is a stylist, caterer and event planner based in Johannesburg. Follow her on Instagram: @fatzmanjoo.

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