March 12

Slow Cooked Lamb with Bahārāt and Seasonal Veg

I am making much more of an effort this year to eat seasonal food and we have begun to grow our own here at our new home. Which, by the way, is a great way to tune into what is in season throughout the year.

I am always checking the fresh food labels for country of origin, it amazed me in the beginning to learn how far away our food can travel from. I now stock up on Irish grown, or the EU for some favourites which are out of season.

So, with seasonal eating in mind, I decided lamb was on the menu. I don't often cook lamb and wanted to try something new. I found a recipe with bahārāt seasoning and an idea was planted.

There's only two and a half of us, so I opted for chops instead of a roast and chose buckwheat and seasonal veggies to go alongside. This was a wonderful midweek treat!

Lamb rubbed with spices (bahārāt works gorgeously with lamb) and cooked slowly is quite a traditional preparation in the Middle East.

Bahārāt is the Arabic word for ‘spices’, but is also the name of a traditional spice blend used throughout the Arab world. Also known as 7 spice, bahārāt is to Middle Eastern cuisine as garam masala is to Indian cuisine; the spices are ground into a fine powder, and it is a ubiquitous seasoning that differs from region to region, and sometimes kitchen to kitchen. It is by no means spicy; it is sweet, smoky and aromatic.

You can use Baharat spice blend on any meat or vegetables you like, it works great as a marinade and a dry rub before the BBQ. I'm excited to try it on all the tofu I have stocked up on recently.

I could not find a premade mix, so I made my own following the recipe below. 


  • 4 large lamb chops
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • rapeseed oil for cooking
  • 2 cups buckwheat, rinsed well
  • 4 cups veg stock
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced
  • 1 punnet mushrooms, quartered
  • a few handfuls of Kale, stalks removed and sliced

Bahārāt spice mix:

  • 1¼ tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp finely ground black peppercorns
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds, finely ground
  • ½ tsp each ground coriander seeds, ground cinnamon and ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp each ground cardamom and ground star anise
  • Small pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 parts black pepper, 4 parts cumin seeds, 3 parts cloves, 3 parts cinnamon, 3 parts coriander seed, 1 part cardamom pods, 3 parts nutmeg, and 6 parts paprika. Store in an airtight container.

Yoghurt Dip:

  • 350g low-fat Greek yogurt (not Greek style)
  • 28g fresh wild garlic or mint, finally chopped

How To:

  1. For bahārāt, sift all spices together. Makes about 1½ tbsp. (Store in an airtight container for up to six months.)
  2. Pound two garlic cloves and 1 tsp salt to a fine paste with a mortar and pestle. Add 50ml olive oil and 2 tsp bahārāt and pound to a paste, then massage into lamb. Marinade for 1 hour or overnight in your fridge.
  3. When you’re ready to roast the lamb, remove it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 150°C. Cover the roasting tray with kitchen foil. The foil will stop the lamb chops from burning and keep the juices in.
  4. Roast for 3 hours, turning the chops over halfway through. Remove from the oven when the chops have a good colour all over.
  5. Make the yoghurt dip by mixing all the ingredients together and store in the fridge until serving time.
  6. About 30 minutes or so from serving time, you will begin to cook the buckwheat and vegetables.
  7. Cook your buckwheat according to the packet instructions (times can vary). I used vegetable stock instead of water for some extra flavour.
  8. Heat some rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, leeks and minced garlic, and sauté until softened (4-5 minutes). Add chickpeas, cumin and coriander seeds and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add the kale, and stir until kale is softened (5-7 minutes). Stir through the buckwheat when cooked. Season to taste.
  9. When lamb is ready, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Then pull from the bone and add to plates or stir through the buckwheat and veggies.
  10. Serve with yoghurt dip on the side and enjoy!

Don’t forget to post pictures of your meal on Instagram and tag me @PilatesBarreDlk or #VitalityNutritionProg. I share on my stories!

Emma x

Meet Emma

Hi, I am Emma McAtasney, a NCEHS Personal Trainer since 2009. I earned my Pilates credentials through BASI Pilates, a highly respected college-level Pilates teacher training programme which aim is to create and maintain professional standards for the teaching of the Pilates Method to the highest calibre.

In addition, I am a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist, nutritionist and founder of a boutique Pilates studio in Dundalk, Ireland.

I help my clients eat healthier, ditch fad diets and lose weight for good by guiding them to make small manageable changes that long term have a huge impact on their quality of life!

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