Cumin Smoked Lamb Wraps

Menu PartSandwich/Wrap
Cuisine TypeIndian

Pitmaster/Chef Rob Sonderman

The Federalist Pig

Washington, D.C.

Barbecue sandwiches are typically made with brisket or pulled pork, but Rob Sonderman, chef and pitmaster at The Federalist Pig, changes up the meat with smoked lamb. The cumin-seasoned lamb, cucumber raita sauce and smoked tomato and tamarind chutney all incorporate flavors from Indian cuisine.


Cumin smoked lamb

8 to 9 lb. square cut bone-in lamb shoulder

¼ cup kosher salt

3 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. granulated garlic

2 tbsp. light brown sugar

1½ tbsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. chipotle chile powder

½ tbsp. ground coriander

Cucumber raita

2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt

½ English cucumber, seeds removed and grated

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. chopped mint

2 tbsp. cold water

1½ tbsp. toasted whole cumin seeds

1½ tbsp. salt

½ tbsp. freshly ground pepper

Smoked tomato and tamarind chutney

6 Roma tomatoes, halved

4 tbsp. olive oil, divided

5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 tbsp. whole cumin seeds

½ tbsp. black mustard seeds

1 jalapeno pepper, minced and seeded

½ cup finely minced red onion

1 piece (1 in.) fresh ginger, peeled and minced

¼ cup light brown sugar

2 tbsp. tamarind paste

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice


8 pieces naan bread

Minced garlic in light olive oil

1½ cup cucumber raita (recipe above)

48-56 oz. cumin smoked lamb (recipe above)

1 cup smoked tomato and tamarind chutney (recipe above)

½ cup crispy fried garlic

Shaved red onion, to taste

Fresh cilantro and mint leaves, to taste


  1. For lamb, in mixing bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic, brown sugar, cumin, chipotle powder and coriander. Rub mixture liberally into lamb shoulder on all sides; wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight to allow seasoning to penetrate. 
  2. Smoke lamb shoulder at 250 F until lamb pulls easily from bone, about 6 to 8 hours.  Remove lamb from heat; place in a half-size, 4-inch-deep hotel pan. Cover with plastic wrap; allow lamb to steam and become more tender while it rests.  Pull lamb meat from bones; set aside.
  3. For cucumber raita, in mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cucumber, lime juice, cilantro, mint, water, cumin, salt and pepper; stir to blend. Reserve cold until ready for sandwich assembly.
  4. For smoked tomato and tamarind chutney:  Rub tomato halves with 1 tablespoon oil and minced garlic.  Place on small tray; season with salt and pepper.  Smoke tomatoes until lightly colored and just cooked; roughly chop and reserve.
  5.  In small saucepan, add remaining oil, cumin and mustard seeds; heat over medium-high heat. Toast seeds until they begin to pop and start to brown. Add jalapeno, onion and ginger; sauté until golden brown. Add smoked tomatoes, brown sugar and tamarind paste; bring to a simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; add lime juice.  Transfer to a container; refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to continue to marry.
  6. To assemble each wrap, slather naan with minced garlic and olive oil mixture; toast on a flat top or cast iron pan.  Spread 3 ounces cucumber raita on bottom of each toasted naan; top with 6 to 7 ounces warm pulled cumin smoked lamb. Top each sandwich with 2 tablespoons smoked tomato and tamarind chutney. Garnish with crispy fried garlic, shaved red onion, cilantro and mint.

Photo courtesy of American Lamb Board

Latest Recipes

View More