Eid Leg of lamb Picture: Michelle Parkin
Foodie and cookbook Author Fatima Sydow and her sister Gadija Sydow Noordien have a range of mouthwatering Eid dishes in their book Cape, Curry and Koesisters.

The book is the perfect guide to help with your Eid preparation, which often includes hours, perhaps even days, of preparation.

Eid Leg of lamb 

We could only afford a leg of lamb once a year and that was during Eid. 

It was such a special treat, and I grew to love the big bone in the centre that holds all the meat together. 

Somehow, for me, that big bone was the prize of the day. 

To find a quiet little corner with a ‘do not disturb’ look on my face was not an easy task with a house full of family and friends, but I would always find one. 

And it was always worth it. Today, all grown up, I happily pass on this uniquely happy experience to whoever is drooling for that prized bone.


  • 1 large leg of lamb (about 3 kg)
  • 8 small cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 60 ml (¼ C) oil
  • 4 onions, quartered 
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and halved


1. Using a sharp knife, make 2-cm deep incisions into the leg of lamb at different points all over the joint. Take the peeled garlic and push one piece of garlic into each hole until all  the holes are filled. Next, season the lamb with lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. In a large pot, heat the oil until very hot, then place the leg of lamb in the pot with the onions, rosemary sprig and carrots. Brown the meat on all sides, and the veggies as well, which will ensure a deep, rich flavour. The browner the better!

3.  Add 750 ml (3 C) hot water to the pot and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, close the pot with the lid and allow to cook slowly. After an hour the water will have almost cooked away, so add another 500 ml (2 C) hot water and allow to cook for another 3 hours.

4. Take the meat out of the pot, transfer it to a heatproof dish and cover with foil to allow the meat to rest. Strain the leftover juices into a smaller pot, place on the hot stove, add 15 ml (1 T) cake flour and stir until the gravy has thickened and is glossy and yummy. Or add 45 ml (3 T) Bisto gravy granules mixed with a little water. You can even stir in 5 ml (1 t) granulated coffee – yes, it’s yummy!

5.  Cut the meat into slices and immediately pour half the gravy over the meat to keep it moist. Cover the meat with foil until ready to serve. Pour the rest of the gravy into a gravy bowl and serve hot with roasted vegetables and Sweet Yellow Rice.


Leg of lamb is expensive so keep it simple and let the delicious meat flavour come out by using these basic aromatic ingredients. Do not overdo it with too many spices.