I distinctly remember when I first saw this recipe being made on Best in Australia a few years back. I was salivating so much that I tracked it down almost immediately and couldn’t wait to make it. Years later it still features prominently in my repertoire of favourites. It makes a great casual lunch to enjoy with friends and never fails to impress as it’s so aromatic and bursting with flavour and colour.
South Cape make an excellent Persian Fetta that is available from most supermarkets. I love the stuff and often include more than the recipe calls for. Some would say I have an addiction, but that’s a post for another day.
Here’s the recipe with my inevitable tweaks and adjustments. I think the original recipe called for Raspberry Vincotto on the salad. I have never used it (due to the expense of the product) and thus don’t know what I’m missing.
I have also made this recipe with chicken* (as in the photo taken the other night) and it’s just as lovely.
ARABIC SPICED LAMB WITH ROASTED BEETROOT & SWEET POTATO SALAD
Lamb & Spice
4 Lamb loin fillets
4 Cardamom pods
½ Cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
2 teaspoons Garlic
Sea Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 Lime
Dash of Olive Oil
3 teaspoons Pistachios (I sometimes substitute with walnuts and they work just as well)
3 tablespoons Yoghurt
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
1 tsp Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
200 g Baby beetroot
A few sprigs of thyme
250 g Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
350 g Sugar Snap peas
100 g Persian Fetta cheese
Mixed salad leaves
Balsamic Vinegar (or Raspberry vincotto if you have it)
Fresh mint leaves (a few sprigs)
Lamb & Spice
Pound all spices in a mortar & pestle and remove cardamom husks.
Add the rest of the ingredients and pound to chunky consistency.
Rub all over lamb and marinate for at least 1 hr.
Seal lamb in pan and finish cooking in hot oven till just cooked medium –rare, approx 8 to10 mins.
Let it rest for a few minutes then slice and serve on top of salad
Combine the ingredients for the spiced yoghurt and set aside until required. Check for taste and balance the salt/sweet/tang.
Trim the excess stalks off the baby beets but leave a tiny bit. It is important not to cut the beets to keep the colour from bleeding out. Roast baby beets, sweet potato & onion in olive oil and thyme for about 30 minutes. Peel beets when cooled (surgical gloves come in handy!).
Blanch sugar snap peas and refresh in cold water & drain.
Place rocket and salad leaves on a platter and toss with a sprinkle of good balsamic vinegar.
Add the cooked vegetables, sugar snaps, nuts and crumble over the Persian fetta.
Top the salad with sliced lamb and dollop over the spiced yoghurt. Sprinkle some fresh mint leaves on the top.
Goes brilliantly with either a Pinot Noir or a chilled Pinot Grigio.
*If using chicken, slice 2 chicken breasts into quarters and marinate as for the lamb recipe above. Simply pan fry and add the salad.