Balti Lamb Tikka

One of the best ways of tenderizing meat is to marinate it in papaya, which must be unripe or it will lend too much sweetness to what should be a savoury dish. Papaya, also known as pawpaw, is readily available from most large supermarkets.


serves 4
675 g (1 1/2 lb) lean lamb, cubed
1 unripe papaya
45 ml (3 tbsp) natural yogurt
5 ml (1 tsp) ginger pulp
5 ml (1 tsp) chilli powder
5 ml (1 tsp) garlic pulp
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) ground turmeric
10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh coriander, plus extra for garnishing
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) red food colouring
300 ml (1/2 pint) 1 1/4 cups corn oil
lemon wedges and onion rings, to garnish
raita and naan, to serve


1. Place the cubed lamb in a large mixing bowl. Peel the papaya, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into cubes, place in a food processor or blender and blend until it is pulped, adding about 15 ml (1 tbsp) water if necessary.

2. Pour about 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the papaya pulp over the lamb cubes and rub it in well with your fingers. Set aside to marinate for at least 3 hours.

3. Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, ginger, chilli powder, garlic, turmeric, ground coriander, cumin, lemon juice, fresh coriander, red food colouring and 30 ml (2 tbsp) of the oil. Season with salt and set aside.

4. Spoon the yogurt mixture over the lamb and mix together well.

5. Heat the remaining oil in a wok. When it is hot, lower the heat slightly and add the lamb cubes, a tew at a time. Deep fry the batches of lamb for 5 - 7 minutes or until the lamb is cooked and tender. Transfer each batch to a warmed serving dish and keep warm while you cook the next batch.

6. When all the batches of lamb have been cooked, garnish with the lemon wedges, onion rings and fresh coriander.

7. Serve with raita and naan.

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