1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cloves
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ cinnamon stick, crushed
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
500g boneless leg of lamb
3 cloves garlic, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons liquid honey (I used J. Friend and Co beechwood honeydew)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 small or 1 large eggplant
¼ cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon tahini
1 small red onion, finely sliced
½ cup flat-leafed parsley leaves
½ cup coriander leaves
¼ cup mint leaves, torn
1 teaspoon sumac
flatbread, to serve

Honey is a natural match with spiced foods (and not necessarily hot spicy) as it balances well with those warming spices you associate with eastern Mediterranean, Persian and Middle Eastern food – flavours such as cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. You want a runny honey here, so you can drizzle it liberally over the finished dish. I always have a container of J. Friend and Co beechwood honeydew honey in my pantry as it is so versatile: it’s great in savoury dishes, squeezed over feta or grilled haloumi and in dressings, and equally as good in sweet dishes.

View the recipe collection here


1.Put the peppercorns, cloves, fennel seeds, cumin and cinnamon in a frying pan and dry fry over a medium-high heat for a minute until smelling toasted.
2.Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind to a powder then stir in the paprika.
3.Cut the lamb into cubes of 1cm or less, discarding any big pieces of sinew or fat.
4.Toss with the spices, garlic, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon each of honey and oil.
5.Set aside for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate overnight.
6.Place the eggplant directly over the flame on a preheated barbecue or on a wire rack over the burner of a gas stove.
7.Cook for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until very soft.
8.Remove and place in a bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes.
9.Peel off all the skin and discard along with the stalk and any eggplant that isn’t soft (scrape with the back of a knife to get all the flesh off the skin).
10.Place in a food processor with the yoghurt, juice of half the lemon and the tahini.
11.Process to a creamy paste then season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed.
12.Put the onion in a bowl, cover with water and set aside for 15 minutes then drain well and toss with the parsley, coriander and mint and set aside.
13.Season the lamb well with salt. Heat one tablespoon of the remaining oil in a wok over a high heat, add half the lamb in a single layer and leave for a minute to sear then stir-fry for about 3 minutes until cooked.
14.Remove to a plate and cook the remaining lamb with the remaining oil.
15.Spread the eggplant over a serving plate and top with the lamb then drizzle with the remaining honey and juice of half the lemon.
16.Top with the herb and onion mixture and sprinkle with sumac. Serve with flatbread.

Recipes & food styling Fiona Smith / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles