Latitude Magazine

Lamb Shawarma with Mint Labneh & Crunchy Overnight Pickles


Lamb lovers – try this one, it is totally lamb-tastic! e shawarma’s exterior spice paste gets all charred and gnarly, while the lamb inside is glistening and pink and falling-apart melty . . . you pull o little crispy bits to taste, and moan a little (lambgasm!). Delicious served with pickled veggies and fresh minty labneh – bright, bold, just beautiful!


1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cardamom seeds

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp allspice berries

1 stick cinnamon

1 tbsp black peppercorn­s

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp ground sumac

4 cloves garlic, skin removed

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves

2–4 pieces of preserved lemon,

skin only

2 shallots or 1 small red onion,

roughly chopped

1 tbsp sea salt, plus more to serve

⁄  cup extra virgin olive oil

1 leg lamb (1.5–2 kg)

handful of mint leaves

1 cup Labneh* or unsweetene­d



mixed chopped vegetables –

anything crunchy (I used red

cabbage and asparagus)

2 tbsp harissa paste

2 tbsp Preserved Lemon Paste*

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

big splash of maple syrup, to taste


½ cup apple cider vinegar or

coconut cider vinegar

dash of liquid smoke or sweet

smoked paprika – or both!

Lightly toast the whole spices in a dr y skillet for a minute or so until fragrant, then process them in a spice grinder to create a powder. Add the other spice powders and mix together. Transfer to a food processor and blitz together with the garlic, rosemary, preserved lemon, shallot, salt and olive oil.

Now you have a paste, it’s time to schmear it all over and around the lamb leg. Leave it to rest in the fridge for as long as possible, but 24 hours for best results! Now is the time to make your Crunchy Overnight Pickles . . .

To make the Crunchy Overnight Pickles, combine all the ingredient­s in a bowl, mixing well. Allow to pickle for a few hours or overnight in a cool dark place (in the fridge is good in the heat of summer), mixing once to allow the juices to ˆow through the veggies.

Next day, remove your lamb from the fridge a couple of hours early to let it come up to room temperatur­e. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and roast it for about 1 hour, before adding a cup of hot water to the pan. Cover the lamb with foil to prevent the spices burning and to keep the lamb moist. Turn the oven down to 170°C, and now this tasty Middle Eastern ˆavourbomb can be slowroaste­d for about 4 hours – baste it with the liquid every hour and keep the water topped up as required.

When done, rest for 10–15 minutes before serving.

To make the mint labneh, simply blitz the fresh mint and labneh or yoghurt together when ready to serve.

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