The citrus notes from the sumac and dried limes beautifully
complement the rich lamb. This is the perfect dish to share as a
2 tbsp eachcumin and coriander seeds4garlic cloves2 tbspground sumac1 tspground cayenne pepper½ tsp eachground cinnamon, cardamom and allspiceFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon2 tbspolive oil½ cup eachfinely chopped mint and coriander3Spanish onions, cut into wedges1lamb shoulder (about 2.5kg), bone in 3dried limes (see note)300 mlchicken stockTo serve:Greek-style yoghurtCranberry and pistachio spiced rice300 gmbasmati rice30 gmbutter, coarsely chopped1onion, finely chopped1 tspground coriander¾ tspground turmeric¼ tspground chilli50 gmdried cranberries30 gmcurrants, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drainedPinchof saffron soaked in 150ml hot water40 gm eachtoasted slivered almonds and pistachios½ cup eachcoarsely torn coriander and mint
Preheat oven to 160C. Coarsely crush cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and crush coarsely. Transfer to a bowl with sumac, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and rind. Stir in oil and herbs, season to taste, then set aside.
Scatter onions over the base of a large roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season to taste. Place lamb on top of onions and pat spice mixture on lamb to form a crust. Arrange limes around lamb, then pour orange juice and stock in pan and cover with foil. Roast until very tender and falling from the bone (5-6 hours).
For cranberry and pistachio spiced rice, soak rice in a large bowl of water for 30 minutes. Drain well, then par-cook in a saucepan of boiling salted water (10 minutes). Drain well, rinse under cold running water to refresh, drain well again and set aside. Heat butter in a casserole or wide saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender (7-8 minutes). Add coriander, turmeric and chilli, and stir until fragrant (30 seconds). Add half the rice, stir, then spread evenly in pan. Cook without stirring until a golden crust forms on base of pan (10 minutes). Scatter with cranberries and currants, and pile remaining rice in the centre of pan to form a mound (do not stir). Pour in saffron water, cover and cook for 16 minutes), then set aside without uncovering to steam (5 minutes). Garnish with nuts and herbs, and serve with warm lamb and Greek yoghurt.
Note Dried limes are also known as black limes
and loomi. Herbie's Spices and Gewurzhaus are both great online
resources for spices, particularly those that are more out of the