Greek-Australian chef and author Maria Benardis has been sharing her love for ancient Greek wellness practices and cuisine since 2004.

Ms Benardis gave Neos Kosmos an exclusive look at one of her adapted recipes from her book Cooking and Eating Wisdom for Better Health.

“I love lamb and one of my favourite recipes other than the traditional ways of doing it is this beautiful dish that I discovered from ancient Greece…they used to coat their lamb with cheeses,” Ms Benardis said.

Maria Benardis has authored three cookbooks adapting ancient Greek recipes Photo: Supplied

Myma (ancient Greek word for ‘meat stew’) is feta crusted lamb is a dish that was created by Epaenetus, a culinary author frequently referred to by Athenaeus.

In his recipe, Epaenetus calls for no fewer than thirteen ingredients and it was as follows:

A myma of any sacrificial animal, or chicken, is to be made by chopping the lean meat finely, mincing liver, and offal with blood and flavouring with vinegar, melted cheese, silphium, cumin, thyme leaf, thyme seed, Roman hyssop, coriander leaf, coriander seed, peeled fried onion (or poppy seeds), raisins (or honey) and the seeds of sour pomegranate.

The silphium plant (a giant fennel) is now extinct.

READ MORE: RECIPE: Harissa Spiced Lamb Kataifi Rolls

Follow Maria Benardis’ adapted recipe below!

Myma-style feta crusted lamb

Serves 4


  • 1 kg leg of lamb, de-boned and fat trimmed off
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 200 g Greek feta, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves and roots, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon thyme-infused honey
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

Salsa (Sauce)

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup finely chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 2–3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½–1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Lay the lamb in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the feta, red wine vinegar, coriander, cumin, olive oil, spring onions, thyme, honey and pomegranate molasses into a blender and process until a smooth paste forms. Pour the mixture over the lamb, making sure you thoroughly coat the lamb with the mixture, and bake for 1–1½ hours until the lamb is cooked and the crust is golden brown.
  4. To prepare the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  5. When the lamb is cooked let it rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a platter and pour over the salsa mixture and serve.