Yoghurt Spiced Rack of Lamb

This dish brings together flavours from the Middle East to create a delicious aromatic rack of lamb. Young racks of lamb need very little cooking as the meat should be tender but if you are using older meat simply cook it longer. I serve this dish on chickpeas with aubergine and boiled brown rice but it goes just as well with a light salad (try sprinkling a simple salad with sumac).

This dish also works brilliantly when cooked on the barbecue.

6 Portions
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 1-12 hours marinating time)
Cook: 30 minutes


  • 3 medium racks of lamb or 6 small


  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 250ml yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Baste

  • 10 saffron threads ground with a pinch of castor sugar in a mortar and pestle or with the back of a spoon, mix with 100ml of boiling water
  • 50g melted butter

To Serve

  • Spicy chickpeas with Aubergine puree (see recipe)
  • Braised Brown Rice (see recipe) or boiled white rice
  • or a simple salad of tomatoes, lettuce, red onion slices, and cucumber (try dusting with a litte sumac)
  • warm slices of pita bread


  1. Marinade: Place all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Coat the lamb with the marinade, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-12 hours (the longer the better to allow the flavours to develop).
  2. To Cook: Preheat an oven to 220°C. Brush a large oven tray with a little oil. Place the racks of lamb on the roasting tray coated in their marinade and place on the middle shelf in the preheated oven, leave to cook for 10 minutes. Mix the the saffron water and melted butter in with the remaining marinade. Remove the lamb from the oven and baste with the saffron mixture. Return the lamb to the oven and cook for a further 15-20 minutes according to taste (baste if necessary). Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes in a warm place before serving.
  3. To Serve: Serve the lamb with chickpeas and rice or salad. Accompany the dish with warm slices of pita bread.