Urfi lamb shoulder with red zhoug, tomato rasam and labneh meebos pumpkin, peanut podi, sultana and mintspinach and chevin pkhali with ezme and pomegranate molasses

by Tia

Serves: 6 | Preparation time: 90 minutes | Difficulty: Medium

Pairing: Gabriëlskloof Whole Bunch Syrah


Urfi Lamb Shoulder:

  • 2kg Lamb Shoulder
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Sumac
  • 100ml Pomegranate Molasses
  • 2 tsp Fine Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 sticks Celery
  • 1 each Onion white, quartered
  • 1 head Garlic
  • 4 sprigs Rosemary
  • 250ml Water
  • 250ml Red Wine

Red Zhoug:

  • 7 each Red Chilli
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ tsp Ground Cardamom
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper Ground
  • ½ tsp Salt Fine
  • ¼ cup Coriander Leaves
  • ¼ cup Parsley Italian
  • 1 each Lemon- Juiced
  • 3 tbsp EVOO

Tomato Rasam:

  • 1/3 cup Coriander Stalks
  • 8 each Garlic Cloves
  • 10gr Ginger
  • 2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 each Tomato Plum
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ½ tsp Black Dhal
  • 1 each Dried Chilli
  • ¼ tsp Hing
  • 10 each Curry Leaves
  • To Taste Salt
  • 360ml Water
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander- chopped

Meebos Pumpkin:

  • 1/2 each Pumpkin large
  • 1 each Oranges
  • 450gr Demerara Sugar
  • 500ml Water
  • 1 each Cinnamon Stick
  • 1gr Star Anise
  • 20gr Meebos
  • 1gr  Cloves
  • To Taste Salt
  • 30gr Sultanas
  • 10gr Mint Leaves

Peanut Podi:

  • ½ tsp Peanut Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ tsp White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 each Red Chili
  • 10gr Tamarind
  • ¼ cup Coconut Desiccated
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Split Peas
  • 1 cup Roasted Peanuts
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chili Powder

Spinach& Chevin Phkali:

  • 2 cups Walnuts
  • 100gr Spinach
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2gr Parsley Italian
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Kasoori Methi
  • 3 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • To Taste Salt
  • ¼ each Onion White
  • 60gr Chevin


  • 100gr Onion white- brunoised
  • 60gr Shishito pepper
  • 100gr Red Pepper
  • 60gr Cucumber
  • 250gr Plum Tomato
  • 15ml Pomegranate Molasses
  • To taste Salt
  • 2gr Chilli Flakes
  • 45ml EVOO


Urfi Lamb Shoulder:

  • Preheat oven to 220°C fan on
  • Rub the lamb with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Use a thin, sharp knife to make 12 incisions in the lamb, deep as you can but without piercing through the bottom of the lamb.
  • Stuff bits of rosemary and garlic slivers into the holes
  • Place the onion sliced carrots and celery and rosemary in the base of a roasting pan. Place the lamb on top. Pour water and wine around.
  • Cover with lid or tightly with a double layer of foil. Place in the oven and TURN DOWN 140°C fan.
  • Slow roast covered: Roast, covered with the foil, for 4 hours.
  • Brown it, uncovered: Remove foil, check to ensure there’s still liquid in the pan. If not, add 3/4 cup water (otherwise onion/garlic will burn). Turn up the oven to 220°C and roast for a further 20 to 30 minutes, until the skin is browned and crisp.
  • Rest: Remove lamb from the roasting pan and transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes, up to a couple of hours.

Red Zhoug:

  • Prepare the chili peppers by removing the stems and roughly chopping them. You can remove the seeds for a milder zhoug or leave them in for extra heat.
  • Peel the garlic cloves.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the chopped chili peppers, garlic cloves, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cardamom, black pepper, salt, cilantro leaves, parsley leaves, and lemon juice.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are finely chopped and well combined. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl as needed to ensure even blending.
  • With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil gradually until the mixture forms a thick, smooth paste. Add more olive oil if needed to reach your desired consistency.
  • Taste the zhoug and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more salt or lemon juice according to your preference.
  • Transfer the red zhoug to a clean jar or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 1-2 weeks.

Tomato Rasam:

  • Take roughly chopped coriander stems with or without leaves (about a handful of coriander stems) in a blender or mixer jar. Also add garlic cloves and roughly chopped ginger. ]
  • Add cumin seeds and black pepper. 
  • Grind to a coarse paste. Remove in a separate bowl or plate
  • In the same jar add the tomatoes (rinsed and chopped). 
  • Grind or blend to a smooth puree. If you want, you can blanch tomatoes and then puree them – for a bright red color in the rasam.
  • In a heavy pan or pot, heat the oil. Keep the flame to its lowest
  • Add the mustard seed and let them begin to crackle. 
  • When the mustard seeds start to crackle, then add urad dal.
  • Stirring often fry urad dal until they turn golden.
  • Now add the dry red chilies (halved and seeds removed) and 1 pinch asafoetida. In case the pan becomes hot, then switch off the heat.
  • Stir and fry for a few seconds till the red chilies change color.
  • Add the coarsely ground coriander stems, ginger, garlic mixture and curry leaves. If the pan becomes too hot, then you can switch off the heat.
  • Sauté for a minute on lowest flame taking care the mixture does not burn. You will get a nice aroma while sautéing this mixture.
  • Add turmeric powder.
  • Mix turmeric powder with the rest of the mixture.
  • Now add the tomato puree. mix very well. Take care as the mixture splutters. 
  • Sauté for a minute. Season with salt as per taste.
  • Then add 1.5 cups water. If you like a little thin tomato rasam, then you could add some more water. But do not add too much water as the flavors get diluted.
  • Mix well and simmer thakkali rasam on medium-low heat until the rasam comes to a simmer.
  • Overall simmer for 9 to 10 minutes.
  • Finally switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves. Check the taste of tomato rasam and add more salt if needed.

Meebos Pumpkin:

  • Slice one orange and juice and zest the other.
  • In a large pan bring orange juice, slices and zest, brown sugar, star anise, cloves water and cinnamon to a boil.
  • Add pumpkin and reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook covered until pumpkin is tender.
  • Uncover and simmer sauce to a glaze.

Peanut Podi:

  • Add peanut oil to a wide pan and heat on low-medium heat
  • When oil heats up, add cumin, sesame, red chilli and mix well and roast
  • Add garlic and tamarind, mix well and sauté until garlic changes color
  • Add coconut and sauté for another 2 minutes
  • Add yellow split peas and sauté until the moisture evaporates
  • Add peanuts, mix until combined and remove from heat
  • Leave mixture to cool.
  • Separate the garlic and transfer the mix to a blender jar
  • Add the required salt, Kashmiri chilli and pulse 5-6 times. AVOID GRINDING
  • Add garlic and pulse 2-3 times. Mix well in between pulses.
  • Allow to cool.

Spinach and Chevin Pkhali:

  • Place the spinach in a non-stick pan and cook it on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it releases its juice, and the juice is fully evaporated,
  • Take walnuts, garlic, parsley, chili peppers, kasoori methi powder, vinegar, coriander, salt and spinach into the food processor and grind until it reaches a puree consistency,
  • Chop the onion very finely, add it to the puree and mix,
  • Take tangerine-sized pieces from the mixture and roll them and make a hollow in the middle by pressing them with your thumb
  • Garnish with ezme


  • Place the chopped onion, chopped pepper in a food processor and cover. Run the food processor for 15 seconds, then stop it, take off the lid and stir with a spoon. Check if the pieces are small enough (they should be tiny), if not, cover and run the food processor for 15 more seconds.
  • Add cucumber and blitz again for 10 seconds
  • Add remaining ingredients and blitz again
  • Season to taste


  • To serve plate the lamb with the red zhoug, labneh and tomato rasam as the sauce. The pumpkin with the peanut podi and fresh mint and the spinach and chevin phkali topped with the ezme.

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