National day lunch

It may surprise you to learn that India and Australia observe their national day on the same date..

Indians celebrate the nation’s Republic Day, which is a public holiday, on 26 January. It is the day when India’s constitution came into force in 1950, completing the country’s transition to becoming an independent republic.

Australia Day is also observed on that day. The traditional celebration is to drink a lot of beer and barbecue some lamb. It is the middle of summer and is most likely hot across all the country. Something light makes sense.

This menu has some barbecued lamb cutlets, served with kachumber, a spinach salad, some raita and chapatis. For dessert I suggest fresh fruit. I would also have some Indian lemonade on hand, as it will likely be hot.

The preparation is simple and can be done well in advance. Marinate the cutlets overnight. Prepare the salads (without dressing) and the bread mix in the morning, so all you need to do at meal time is barbecue the lamb, cook the chapatis and dress the salads.

main course

three barbecued lamb cutlets on a bed of kachumber

barbecued lamb cutlets

Lamb cutlets marinated in three separate spice blends, then barbecued. A Lucknow street vendor dish, burra kebabs are an ideal summer dish.

side dishes

a serving bowl of kachumber


Fresh and slightly acidic, kachumber is a chopped salad featuring tomato, cucumber and onion. It is one of the most common accompaniments to an Indian meal.
serving platter of cucumber and spinach salad with yoghurt dressing

spinach and cucumber salad with yoghurt dressing

A fresh flavoured salad where the taste of the baby spinach and cucumber are brought out by the creaminess of the slightly spiced yoghurt.
a serving bowl of beetroot raita

beetroot raita

A south Indian raita, or pachadi. This is a vibrant coloured dish, with fresh crunchy beetroot, cooling yoghurt and a hint of spice.


a stack of chapatis


The easiest of the Indian breads, chapatis are a simple unleavened flatbread. 
a glass of masala lemonade

masala lemonade

Nimbu pani is the famous, traditional and enormously refershing lemonade from North India and Pakistan.


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