moro top ten: lamb with chickpea puree and hot mint sauce

“this dish feels familiar yet with an exotic slant"

from casa moro, this is lamb with chickpea puree and hot mint sauce is the one dish in the top ten that i had previously made. well, a short cut version of it, which means that this time i followed the recipe to the letter.

so, how did i get on

pulling together all the separate ingredients is a bit time-consuming but nothing is particularly complicated so, as long as you remember that you ideally want to leave the lamb to marinate overnight and you have time for the other bits it should be easy enough.

the final verdict:

would i have tried this recipe if it hadn't been part of the moro top ten? yes – i already had

would i try this recipe again in the future? yes – all three components are superb and it is the sort of dish that people eat and then ask for the recipe.

roasted lamb shoulder with chickpea puree and hot mint sauce (serves 4-6)

1 shoulder of lamb, about 1.6-1.8kg

sea salt and black pepper 


4 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt

juice of ½ a lemon

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

½ a medium red onion, finely grated

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

to serve:

1 quantity chickpea puree (see below)

1 quantity hot mint sauce

place the lamb in a large roasting pan. if you are using a shoulder, score the surface very lightly 1-2mm deep in a 1 cm criss-cross pattern to help the marinade penetrate the meat. mix all the marinade ingredients together except the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and rub all over the meat. now add the olive oil (it can prevent the acidity of the lemon and vinegar from penetrating the meat), and leave to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, turning occasionally, or in the fridge overnight.

preheat the oven to 160c (325f). cook the lamb for a minimum of 3 hours, adding a small glass of water (125ml or 1/2 cup) to the pan after the first 30 minutes and each subsequent hour. baste the lamb every 45 minutes. to test if the lamb is ready, insert a wooden skewer in the centre: if the meat is soft and has a lot of give, then it is done. let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

chickpea puree (serves: 4-6)

450g dried chickpeas (i used two 400g tins of cooked chickpeas)

pinch of bicarbonate of soda

half a medium onion or 1 head of garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ a large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 ½ rounded teaspoons cumin seeds, roughly ground

30 threads of saffron, infused in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

sea salt and black pepper to taste

place the dried chickpeas in a bowl, cover with cold water, add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, and soak overnight. drain the chickpeas, rinse well, and place in a large saucepan with the half of an onion or 1 head of garlic. cover with 2 litres (2 quarts) of cold water and bring to the boil. reduce the heat to a simmer, skimming off any scum, and cook for 1-2 hours or until soft and tender. drain the chickpeas, saving about 1 cup of cooking liquor. you do not have to remove the skins on the chickpeas.

place the cooked chickpeas in a food processor and puree the chickpeas until quite smooth. add enough cooking liquor or water so they are similar to wet mashed potato. set aside.

just before serving the lamb, in a medium saucepan, heat up the olive oil over a medium to high heat and add the onion, garlic and cumin. fry, stirring until the onion and the garlic are evenly golden brown. when ready, add the chickpea puree and the saffron infusion. simmer for 5 minutes and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. serve warm, sprinkled with the chopped parsley.