Anjula Devi’s Pulled Lamb with Fiery Mint Chutney

Preparation time 30 minutes.
Cooking time 4 hours and 40 minutes.
Marinate overnight.

Serves 4

You are going to love this recipe! 


  • 1.5 kg boneless shoulder lamb, butterflied (ask your butcher to do this, and to score it too)

Key Spices

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 Indian bay leaves
  • 2 1 inch pieces of cassia bark
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs paprika

Warming Spices

  • 8 green cardamoms
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbs fenugreek leaves

Other Spices

  • 2 tbs mango powder

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 250 ml white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 tbs grated jaggery
  • 4 tsp pulped garlic
  • 2 tsp pulped ginger
  • 4 fresh mild green chillies minced (you can remove the membrane and seeds if you prefer a milder version)
  • 150 g sundried tomato paste
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 4 tbs raw papaya skin (try not to miss this ingredient out as it’s the tenderiser for the lamb)
  • 4 tbs groundnut oil or vegetable oil


  • 1 small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of mint, chopped
  • Zest and juice of one lime


  1. Take a large frying pan set on a low heat, add all the key spices to the pan and gently warm through for 1 minute.
  2. Remove from the heat, place in a pestle and mortar, grind to a fine powder and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. This is the best bit – take all of the wet ingredients and the mango powder and add to the bowl. Mix really well, add the lamb and coat it with all the other ingredients.
  4. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight.
  5. Remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 140 C, 280 F or gas mark 1, then place the lamb including all the marinade in an oven proof dish. Cover with foil and cook for 4 hours.
  7. In the meantime take a small dry frying pan and warm through the warming spices for 1 minute.
  8. Remove from the heat, bash the green cardamoms and black cardamoms in a pestle and mortar, remove their husks and place the seeds back into the pestle and mortar. Grind to a fine powder along with the cloves, fennel and fenugreek Set aside.
  9. Remove the foil, add the ground warming spices to the lamb.
  10. Cook for a further 30 minutes without the foil on, or until the meat just pulls away with a fork.
  11. Remove from the oven, add the coriander, mint, lime juice and zest.
  12. Serve with fresh chapattis and fiery mint chutney.

Spice for Life by Anjula Devi includes meat and fish recipes too and is published by Clearview Books

Photography by Dan Jones. Priced at £25 and available from Lakeland and all good bookshops. ISBN: 978-1908337-375