Roasted Lamb with Turkish Spices

Roasted Lamb with Turkish Spices

After only one day in Turkey (more on that here), I clearly can’t claim to have sampled even a small fraction of the depth and variety of Turkish food. But this Roasted Lamb with Turkish Spices recipe is a sure must-try!

Due to my confinement to the Old City, I saw little of Istanbul beyond the city’s many doner kebab joints, which have their place in greasy, meaty heaven but fail to do the city justice.

From the savory usage of sweet apricots to the yogurt, rice pilafs, and pistachios, to the extremely fascinating spice combinations I was able to test in the market, these recipes are somewhat of a synthesis of the few things I did see in Istanbul.

This Turkish lamb will have to do till I can return to the city to sample its other culinary delights.



  • 2 racks of lamb
  • 5 apricots (quartered)
  • 1 large red onion (cut into wedges)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil


  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 cups of cooked basmati rice
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • ½ cup of roasted chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • salt and pepper



  1. The oven needs to be heated to 450 degrees. Put the apricots and red onion in a roasting pan. Add salt and pepper to taste, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Set them aside after warming them in the oven for ten minutes.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the lamb. Be sure to add plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to temperature a large, heavy pan over medium heat. A rack of lamb should be seared on all sides in a skillet with olive oil. Mix the herbs and spices in a small basin, then rub them into the lamb before searing.
  3. Place in a baking dish and roast for 12 minutes, uncovered, to achieve medium-rare doneness. After 10 minutes in the oven, remove the meat and let it rest under a foil tent.


  1. To get started, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a small skillet and heat it over medium heat. Fry the curry powder and cumin for about 5 seconds. The chickpeas and a pinch of salt come next. Warm and crisp up the chickpeas by stirring everything together for around 2 minutes. Ignore it for the time being.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the chopped onion with enough flour to lightly coat. In a shallow pan, warm the vegetable oil. Drop an onion slice into the oil to see how hot it is. If there is a vigorous sizzling sound, the food is done. Fry the onions for 2 minutes for every batch or until they are crisp. Put the food on a platter covered with paper towels and season with salt.
  3. Mix the chickpeas, onions, parsley, cilantro, pistachios, raisins, and cooked rice in a large bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Put everything in a bowl and give it a good stir to combine.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter