Grilled Cumin Lamb With Spicy Onions

Grilled Cumin Lamb With Spicy Onions

Yogurt makes a great base for a marinade, adding a milky tang and helping to tenderize all kinds of meats. In this case, the yogurt is spiked with aromatics — toasted cumin, green chile, herbs, and plenty of ginger and garlic — which impart complex flavors to a butterflied leg of lamb destined for the grill. Lightly pickled, spicy onions make a bright garnish here, but you can skip them if it seems like one step too many. Instead, just slice up a red onion and scatter the raw slivers over the top of the meat for a contrasting crunch. If you’d rather cook this inside, you can broil it instead of grilling.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 12 persons



  1. Step 1

    Grate the zest from one of the limes and squeeze the juice. Reserve both separately. Cut the other lime into wedges and save for serving.
  2. Step 2

    Cut one onion into wedges; put into a blender and add lime zest. Halve remaining onion and slice it very thinly; put slices into a sieve and rinse well with cold water. Transfer onion slices to a small bowl.
  3. Step 3

    Add lime juice to bowl with onion slices, sprinkle lightly with salt, sugar and cayenne. Toss well and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until serving.
  4. Step 4

    In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the blender with the onion and lime zest. Add yogurt, mint, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, black pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Blend until smooth.
  5. Step 5

    Place the lamb on a rimmed baking sheet, bowl or in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade all over lamb, turning to make sure it is thoroughly coated. Cover lamb (or close the bag), and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Step 6

    Heat the grill (or broiler). Wipe lamb with paper towels, removing most of the yogurt mixture. Grill or broil lamb until a digital thermometer reads 115 degrees for rare, or 125 for medium (about 6 to 15 minutes per side, depending on how you like your meat and how thick the lamb is). If the meat starts to char before it’s done, move it to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Or if broiling, move it farther away from the broiler’s heat source.
  7. Step 7

    Transfer to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Arrange meat on a platter, spooning any juices from the cutting board over the slices, and top with more mint, cilantro, the spicy onions, yogurt if you like, and a sprinkling of flaky salt. Serve immediately, with the lime wedges on the side.