Barbecued Middle Eastern Lamb

This recipe makes use of the fantastic selection of herbs that summer brings. My herb garden is bursting with aromas from mid spring through to the summer months. The lamb needs to be marinated for 1-2 days to infuse it full of flavour and of course the smokiness from the barbecue plays it part to, creating a really tasty meal.

6 - 8 Portions
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour and 30 minutes



  • 1x 4-5kg leg of lamb


  • 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large red chilli, de seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • generous pinch of maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Chili Yoghurt Sauce

  • 100g yoghurt
  • 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

  • 100g yoghurt
  • 4 tbsp cucumber, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp honey

To Serve

  • Couscous Salad (see recipe) optional
  • Pea, Broad Bean and Mint Salad (see recipe) optional
  • BBQ New Potatoes (see recipe)
  • or your choice of salad, vegetables or rice eg. pilau rice (see recipe)


  • Marinade: Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Pierce the lamb all over with a small sharp knife. Place the lamb on a large plate or container. Pour the marinade over the lamb and massage it into the meat, coating it well. Cover the lamb and leave it to marinate for 12-48 hours.
  • To Cook: Heat a Barbecue to Moderate-High and place the lamb on the rack, coating it well with the marinade. If possible place the lid over the lamb and leave it to cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours, coating it with the marinade and turning it each 30 minutes (if you like the meat well done simply cook for a further 30 minutes). Remove the lamb from the direct heat and allow it to rest in a warm place for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  • Chilli Yoghurt Sauce: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a red sauce, alternatively grind the chilli to a paste in a mortar and pestle and mix in all the remaining ingredients.
  • Cucumber Yoghurt Sauce: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
  • To Serve: Slice the lamb and distribute among the serving plates with your choice of accompaniments and the two yoghurt sauces.