December 09, 2021

Barbecued Leg of Lamb with Dill and Preserved Lemon Pilaf

This fuss free, lightly spiced lamb recipe from Farro is a fantastic alternative (or addition!) to the Christmas classics, that works just as well in the oven as it does on the barbecue. We think it’s fabulous with the dill rice pilaf, and even better with a drizzle of Greek-style yoghurt and a dollop of kasundi.

PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOK TIME: 1.5 hours


For the lamb:
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cilantro
2 tsp sumac
1 Tbsp chopped thyme leaves
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
4.5lbs leg of lamb
Greek-style yoghurt to serve
Kasundi to serve (optional)

For the Dill and Preserved Lemon Pilaf:
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
A good pinch of saffron threads
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
3 cups chicken stock or water
½ preserved lemon, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried dill tips
1 bunch fresh dill, chopped
½ cup pistachios


Preheat a hooded barbecue to 180°C and arrange it so you can cook the lamb over indirect heat. This means, for example, pushing the charcoal to one side and cooking the meat on the other or, if you’re using gas, lighting one side and cooking on the other. On a Weber Q, use a foil tray and rack above the grill. Alternatively, you can roast in a 180°C oven.

Remove the lamb from the fridge at least an hour before cooking. In a small dish, combine the cumin, coriander, sumac, thyme, garlic powder, and salt. Rub the oil over the lamb, then sprinkle over the spice mix, ensuring the whole leg is coated (this step can be done a day ahead to allow the flavours to marinate).

Transfer the lamb to the barbecue and cook for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes, allowing 50 minutes of cooking time per kg of lamb. Once cooked, loosely cover the lamb with foil and rest for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with the dill and lemon pilaf, yoghurt, and kasundi.

To make the Dill and Preserved Lemon Pilaf, heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft, but uncoloured. Add the saffron and cook for one minute. Add the rice and allow it to toast a little in the pan, then add the stock, preserved lemon, and salt, and bring to a simmer.

Cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, then stir through the dried dill and ½ the fresh dill. Replace the lid and leave to steam for 10 minutes. Fold through the remaining fresh dill and the pistachios to finish.