Venkat’s Sikandri Raan

So this is a raan (which means leg of meat, I think) which you get in Hyderabad. Sikander of course is the name of Alexander the Great (hence Secunderabad), and the name of this conjures up the Mediterranean vividly. It is rare to boil meat or to cook a whole leg of lamb in India, so the recipe shows its origins quite clearly.

1 large leg of lamb or mutton (or if you wish, several smaller shanks)

2 or 3 tablespoons of vinegar mixed with 3 tablespoons of chilli powder

11/2 cup of ginger garlic paste

2 to 3 tablespoons of salt

15 to 20 whole green cardamoms

About 10 to 15 cloves

4 or 5 bay leaves

3 sticks of cinnamon

3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

1 ½ tablespoons of chaat masala

Juice of a fesh lemon

 

Make small cuts into the surface of the leg and rub all over the surface first the salt, then the vinegar and the chilli powder. Then the g&g paste. Cover and put this aside for at least half an hour – I often leave for a few hours or even overnight in fridge if needed.

 

Get yourself a very large pan (so that a whole leg of lamb or mutton can be put into it with water covering it) put in the cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon. Put the meat in it and cover with water. Put the lid on and boil for a couple of hours (say, 2 hours if lamb and 3 hours if mutton).

At the end, take the meat out of the water, rub some oil on the surface and then some chaat masala. Sprinkle some lemon juice over it. Put the leg into a hot oven for 10 minutes or grill each side for 10 minutes till the surface catches the heat slightly.

Serve on a large plate with a large fork which can be used to pull the meat off the bone. It should really be melt in the mouth soft. Ideally eaten with rice I think (but then I would).

When the water has cooled, I would just get rid of the solid stuff at the bottom (the cardamoms etc) pour it into pots and freeze them as lamb stock. Absolutely amazing taste when this stock (plus  a little water) is used to cook rice in.