Lamb Shwarma with Yoghurt

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • seeds of 24 cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 7cm finely-grated ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp sumac
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • ½ bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lamb leg
  • flatbreads, yoghurt and pickles, to serve


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours
Serves: 8

1 Preheat oven to 150°C. Place the cumin, cloves, peppercorns, fennel seeds, cardamom, fenugreek, star anise and cinnamon on a tray and bake for 10 minutes, until aromatic. Grind to a powder, then mix with the nutmeg, ginger, garlic, sumac, zest, juice, coriander and extra virgin olive oil.
2 Use a sharp knife to score the lamb in parallel lines, then rub all over with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
3 Place in a roasting pan with 1 cup water and bake for 1 hour. Add another ½ cup water, cover with foil, then bake for a further for 3 hours. Allow to rest then cave and serve with the flatbreads, yoghurt and pickles.