“I do love peas, I love their mushy texture, sweetness and subtle flavour, I always have some in the freezer and they cook in minutes. But and it is a big but, sometimes they can be a bit blah and I need more. This is what peas taste like when they leave they venture out of their safe vanilla zone.” Anjum Anand, Anjum's Australian Spice Stories 






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (67 votes)


  • 1.5-2 kg shoulder of lamb, bone in
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken or lamb stock
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • good handful coriander stalks and leaves, finely chopped



  • 6 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ½-¾ tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 40 g piece peeled ginger
  • 40 g garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 125 g plain yoghurt


Edgy peas

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 15 g piece peeled ginger, cut into thin julienne
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • pinch of salt
  • 400 g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk
  • 1 whole green chilli
  • 1-1½ tsp dried mango powder, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 8 hours or overnight if time permits

To make the marinade, place all the whole spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and ground into a fine powder.  Transfer to a blender, add the chilli powder, salt, ginger, garlic, vinegar, oil and as much of the yoghurt as you need to make a smooth paste. Stir in the remaining yoghurt.

Place the meat in a roasting dish and pierce all over using the tip of a sharp knife. Make the incisions deep to help the marinade penetrate- I probably stab it 50 times all over. Pour the marinade over the lamb and massage well into the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 160˚C. Pour the stock around the lamb, cover the pan with a lid or foil and bake for 4 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Remove the lid or foil, increase the oven temperature to 180˚C and roast for another 40 minutes or until the lamb is golden. If necessary, add a little stock or water to the pan if it is dry.

Meanwhile, make the peas. Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook just until darkened. Add the ginger and cook until lightly browned, then stir in the ground coriander, garam masala and salt. Add the peas and fenugreek leaves and cook for 2 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the milk and cook, stirring often until the milk has evaporated. Stir in the dried mango powder and a generous grind of black pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  


While the meat is browning, pour 5 cm oil in a wok or saucepan and when hot, add the onions and fry until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. They should crisp up nicely.

Once the lamb is browned, remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and rest for 15-20 minutes. Pour the pan juices into a small jug, then skim off the excess oil. Stir in half the browned onions and the coriander, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve the lamb scattered with the remaining onion and the onion and coriander sauce. 


Anjum's Australian Spice Stories starts Monday 4 April 2016 on Food Network Australia. Visit the program page for recipes and more.