Recipes: Cooking with lamb

I love cooking with lamb, it’s such a flavoursome meat and as there are so many cuts it’s extremely versatile – you can create some really imaginative dishes.

I recently went to taste some lovely lamb creations at Cyrus Todiwala’s Spice Namaste restaurant which is only a short walk from the magnificent Tower of London. Celebrity chef Cyrus talks with passion about the lamb he cooks with and when you taste his food, you can feel the love.

So I thought I had to  share the recipes with you – they are simple to make and will be a great addition to your weekly menu. Enjoy

Blue cheese stuffed lamb burger

Makes 6 burgers

BlueCheeseStuffedLambBurger (1)

Succulent burgers stuffed with cheese


675g lamb mince

1 finely chopped medium onion

2-3 cloves minced garlic

1 x 2inch piece minced fresh ginger

1 slender type minced green chilli (seeds included)

1 tbsp ground cumin powder

1½ tbsp ground coriander powder

2 tbsp tomato purée

3 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp Garam Masala powder

1-2 tsp salt

1 tsp crushed black pepper

For the stuffing

150g blue cheese, crumbled

2 finely chopped green chillies

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander

2 finely chopped cloves of garlic

Rolls or bread, to serve

In a large bowl gently mix all the burger ingredients together.  Divide into 6 evenly–sized burgers.

In a small bowl blend the stuffing ingredients together and shape into equal-sized balls to stuff the burgers.

Make an indentation in the centre of each burger with your thumb and fill with a ball of the cheese. Make sure the cheese is completely encased when you form the burger.

Cook on a prepared grill or barbecue for 6-8 minutes on each side or until any meat juices run clear.

Serve with your favourite bread or rolls with some sliced tomatoes, onion and lettuce and some relish.

Lamb in chilli, garlic and cinnamon

Serves 6


Beautifully tender and spicy lamb

675g lamb leg, shoulder or neck fillet, cut into 1 inch/2.5cm cubes

5-6 whole red chillies, broken into pieces

1tbsp coriander seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

1 x 2-3inch piece cinnamon stick or cassia bark, broken into pieces

1 x 3inch piece ginger, finely crushed

6 garlic cloves, finely crushed

½tsp ground black pepper

2-3tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil

1tsp salt, to taste

Freshly chopped coriander, to garnish

In a small pan dry roast the spices for a few minutes until they give off a great aroma and become crisp. They will change colour but do not allow to burn. Cool and crush to as near a powder as you can get.

Transfer the spices to a blender or liquidiser with the ginger, garlic and oil then blend to form a smooth paste.  You may need to add 1-2tbsp cold water too.

Spoon into a large bowl, add the lamb and coat in the masala, transfer to a sealable container and chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Either thread the cubes onto small kebab skewers (if using wooden ones soak in warm water for 20 minutes) and cook under a preheated grill or prepared barbecue for 6-8 minutes on each side Garnish with coriander and serve with a cooling raita.

More great lamb ideas coming soon to

Recipe: Slow-cooked Moroccan-style lamb

I made this wonderfully aromatic lamb stew in my slow cooker for two  – a much-loved appliance in my kitchen. You could, of course, do it in the oven, too, just keep the temperature on low (around 120C) and check that the stew doesn’t get too dry…add more stock if you need to.

Rubbing the spices thoroughly through the lamb before cooking adds an exotic flavour to the meat and the lovely brothy sauce. Healthy, delicious, quick and easy to make, this stew freezes beautifully, too.


Great flavours and healthy ingredients

Serves 2

For the rub

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp dried mint

For the stew

400g neck of lamb, chopped into large chunks

230g tin of chopped tomatoes

215g tin of butter beans

215g tin of chickpeas

200ml lamb stock

1 cinnamon stick

2 chopped dried chilles

100g diced butternut

100g diced sweet potato

Grind all the rub ingredients together using a mortar and pestle. Add the lamb pieces and mix well so they are thoroughly coated with the spices.

Heat the slow cooker to high and pour in 1 tbsp vegetable oil. When it’s heated, add the lamb and stir, coating with the oil. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and let the lamb slowly brown for about 15 mins.

Add the stock, tomatoes, cinnamon stick and chillis. Replace the lid and cook for 1 1/2 hours on low.

Then add the chickpeas, beans, butternut and sweet potato and cook for another 1 hour.

Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

stew in pot

The stew simmers in my much-used slow cooker for two


Recipe: Quick and easy Thai mince

So this week I got sent a parcel full of tins of spices. What happiness! Bart have come up with a new range of spices inspired by flavours from around the world. A brilliant way to transform the simplest of dishes into something bursting with flavour.


This new range of spice blends certainly makes cooking easier

I have to admit to not having much cooking mojo this week (yes, it does happen), so kept dinner really simple. And I have to say the results were surprisingly good. We ate the mince for dinner served with cabbage and boiled potatoes, it would be just as good with rice or mash. The leftovers were fantastic on toast for lunch the next day.

Oh, and don’t you love my new tea towel – a gift from South Africa from my friend, Candy. It’s from one of her favourite shops in Cape Town called SkinnylaMinx, check it out at


Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch

500g lamb mince

1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small dice

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 tsps Barts Thai spice

300ml chicken stock

1 tbsp oil for frying

Heat the oil and cook the carrot and onion in it for 5 mins. Then add the lamb mince and brown. Add the spice mix and stir. Pour in the chicken stock and simmer on a low heat for about 30 mins until most of the liquid is absorbed. Keep an eye on the pan and add a bit more stock if it starts looking too dry.

My new favourite shop for spices

We spend a lot of our time in Cape Town on the Atlantic Seaboard, especially around Sea Point and Mouille  Point. Main Road in Sea Point is an amazing place – seriously, if you want to buy something or get something fixed you’ll be able to get it done in Main Road. So imagine my delight when my theory was proved correct yet again with my discovery of an amazing spice shop.

I was making a Massaman curry for dinner using Rick Stein’s recipe from his Far Eastern Odyssey. A lot of different spices are required and I found myself short of black cardamom seeds, mace and tamarind. I’d scoured all the local supermarkets with no luck and was determined to find all the ingredients to produce the perfect, authentic curry. I’d pretty much given up hope, until I recalled a spice shop I’d spotted and decided to give it a go.

Spice in the City is right on Main Road next door to the Adelphi Centre. It’s run by third generation South African-born Indian, Raziyah Johnston, who grew up in Ireland (how’s that for an exotic combo!). With a background in PR and the diplomatic service, in 2011 Raziyah decided to take a leap of faith and open up her own spice shop. This all stemmed from a desire to share her passion for food and cooking and both her shop and Raziyah herself are a real inspiration.

The shop is a total treasure trove. This is the sort of shopping I get truly excited by! Spices, sauces and other specialist ingredients abound (needless to say my three missing ingredients were very quickly located). Raziyah charmingly offers advice and recipe ideas and will happily talk food (all with her lilting Irish accent), making a visit to the shop an enjoyable social occasion as well as a necessary shopping expedition. Her enthusiasm and knowledge really shine through.

The shelves are packed with tempting packets of spices

The shelves are packed with tempting packets of spices

As well as the comprehensive variety of products available, spices are available in different sizes. Great news for me as I’d much rather buy smaller portions so I can keep it the freshest and tastiest possible.

You'll be drawn in by vibrant colours and tempting aromas

You’ll be drawn in by vibrant colours and tempting aromas

She also has a comprehensive range of legumes, pulses, seeds, chutneys and speciality teas available.

Pop in for some spices and advice from Raziyah

Pop in for some spices and advice from Raziyah

I guarantee a visit to Spice in the City will inspire you to get those spices flowing! After my second visit I left with a recipe for crab curry, and assurances that it really wasn’t an intimidating dish to cook. Watch this spice, sorry space…

You can find out more at

Asian duck breasts

I’d never cooked duck before this day, and was always a bit nervous about it. I order it a lot in restaurants for that reason but the day came for me to take the challenge.

I went to Sainsburys and they were selling Gressingham duck breasts at half price…it was like a sign telling me my time had come to step up and cook the duck! We love Asian food and duck and Asian spices are a wonderful match, so after much consideration, here’s what I decided to do. There are several steps, but none of them are particularly difficult and honestly, the finished dish is so delicious and looks so stunning, it’s worth it. Go on, give it a try!

Beautiful duck breasts…my husband said he felt like he was in a restaurant when I served this up!

Serves 2

2 duck breasts

For the rub

1 tbsp Spanish paprika

Half a tbsp dry mustard

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp Chinese five spice

Half a tsp black pepper

For the glaze

1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp soy sauce

Make the rub first by mixing all the ingredients together.

Next make the glaze. Heat the oil, adding the ginger and garlic and cook until they are soft. Whisk in the honey and soy sauce and cook until the honey has melted. Leave it to cool

Heat the grill to medium-high. Score the skin-side of the duck with a knife in a lattice pattern, being sure not to cut through to the flesh.

Rub the skin side of each breast with a few tablespoons of the rub and place on the grill, rub side down, and grill until slightly charred and the skin begins to get crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over, brush with some of the glaze and continue grill to medium-rare doneness, another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the duck from the grill and brush with more of the glaze. Rest for 5 minutes then slice 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal.

Serve sliced on top of this salad.

Salad to serve it with

You can use pretty much any combination of your favourite salad ingredients. Here’s what I used:

Mint leaves

Basil leaves



Spring onions


For the dressing

Mix together two thirds vegetable oil with one third lime juice. Add a dash of fish sauce, half a teaspoon of sugar and a dash of cayenne pepper or chilli powder.