Baked leg of rabbit with yogurt and cornmeal sauce

Baked rabbit with warming Indian spices and a yoghurt and cornmeal sauce is an unusual yet impressive dish to cook for a dinner party Taken from the Cinnamon Kitchen cookbook
By Vivek Singh
Baked leg of rabbit with yogurt and cornmeal sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: hard


For the rabbit:

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp garlic ginger paste
  • ½ tbsp garlic mayonnaise and salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 green chillies, slit lengthways
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cm cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli, powder

For the spice crust:

  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric, powder
  • 5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp fine cornmeal
  • 250 ml strained poaching liquid
  • 80 ml ghee
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 black cardamom, pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 50 g yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresg coriander, the leaves and stalks, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Tips and Suggestions

You can buy rabbit legs from your local butcher or at the supermarket.

Find out more about cooking with rabbit here


1. For the rabbit: Firstly, prepare the marinade for the rabbit legs. Mix together the turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, ginger paste and garlic paste, spread over the rabbit legs, cover and set aside for 10 minutes. In a deep heavy-based pan, heat half the oil and sear the legs for 23 minutes on each side until lightly browned and pour in enough water to cover the legs. Add the chillies, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

2. Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer, covered, over a low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the legs are tender. Remove the rabbit legs from the heat, drain and reserve the stock. Pat dry the rabbit legs and place on a wire rack. Brush with the remaining oil.

3. For the spice crust: Grind together the spices in a mortar and pestle; you want a fairly coarse texture. Sprinkle over the rabbit and place in a low oven to keep warm.

4. For the sauce: Mix together the garlic paste, turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, ginger, cornmeal and braising liquid (from the rabbit earlier) in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.

5. Heat the ghee in a heavy-based pan on a medium-high heat until smoking point. Add the cloves, black cardamom and bay leaf, and when they start to crackle, add the onion and cook on a medium heat for 46 minutes until it is translucent. Add the garlic, spice and cooking liquor mixture and cook, stirring well, for 34 minutes until everything is thoroughly combined. Gradually add the yoghurt, stirring well after each spoonful.

6. Once all the yoghurt has been incorporated, bring the sauce to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 68 minutes until thickened. Check the seasoning and finish with the coriander and lemon juice.

7. Finally, put the rabbit legs on a grill rack and place under a hot grill at for 34 minutes, until the legs are warm and the crust begins to crisp. Divide the sauce between 4 plates and serve with the rabbit legs on top.

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