Spiced Lamb Loaf


serves 4
275 g (10 oz) cooked lamb
1 large onion
15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato puree
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander leaves or watercress
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) chilli powder
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground fenugreek seeds
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground ginger
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large aubergines
120 ml (8 tbsp) olive oil
1 medium-sized egg
butter for greasing
sprigs of fresh coriander leaves or watercress, to garnish

for the tomato-chilli sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
400 g (14 oz) canned tomatoes
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) sugar
3 cloves
15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato puree
2 small red chillies, seeded and chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Finely mince the lamb into a large bowl. Grate in the onion and add the tomato puree, coriander leaves or watercress, chilli powder, fenugreek, ginger, cumin seeds and garlic. Mix thoroughly, season with salt and pepper and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Wipe the aubergines with a damp cloth but do not peel. Cut them into thin slices crossways, put on a plate in one layer, sprinkle generously with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes.

3. Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4. Wash the aubergine slices in running water and pat dry. Heat the olive oil in a large frying-pan. When nearly smoking add the aubergines and fry till golden on both sides, about 5 minutes each side. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Drain the aubergines on absorbent paper and reserve.

4. Stir the egg into the minced lamb mixture to bind it. Grease a 850 ml (1 1/2 pt) loaf tin and put in half the lamb, pressing it down well. Place the aubergines on top in an even layer, and cover with the rest of the lamb. Bake for 30—40 minutes. Test to see if the loaf is done by piercing it with a skewer — it should come out clean.

5. Meanwhile, make the sauce: heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute till soft and golden. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cloves, tomato puree and chillies. Season and simmer over low heat while the loaf is baking. Stir it from time to time to prevent it sticking to the pan.

6. When the loaf is done, turn it out onto a serving dish, pour over the tomato sauce, garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander leaves or watercress and serve immediately.

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Leftover Lamb
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