This dish is passed down from Yuan Dynasty. It was very popular in Qing Dynasty and was called “Zhama Banquet”, which would be served to entertain Mongolian lords. Emperor Qianlong once wrote a poem to compliment it. “Zhama” means to use traditional Mongolian butchering, remove hairs with hot water, remove the organs and roast the whole lamb. The dish has excellent color, flavor, taste and shape, and is one the best dishes in Mongolian cuisine.
Yuan Dynasty History” recorded how Mongolian cooked meat in the 12th century, and their diet and food preparation improved a lot in Yuan Dynasty. The meat preparation was very complex and required special oven. In Qing Dynasty, almost all Mongolian lords would use this dish to entertain important guests. During the Emperor Kangxi and Qianlong period, “Alashan Lord Mansion” made the best roasted whole lamb and its chef Garudi was the most popular in Beijing. After the foundation of People’s Republic of China, “Alashan Lord Mansion” remained the best, since it had the best cooks to prepare the dish. The new government paid a lot attention to this dish and made some improvements. Now, preparation of roasted whole lamb is now a very important content of cooking techniques of our Finance and Economics College.
The way to prepare the dish is to: hang up the cleaned lamb, put all kinds of flavors inside of the body, coat it with edible oil and roast in special oven for about 3 hours. As a rule, only after five other dishes the dish can be served wholly for guests to watch and it will be taken back and cut up, then served again in pieces. It can also be eaten together with green onion and sweet sauce in pancake.