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Sticky, spiced lamb shanks with jewelled rice


  • Process the ginger and garlic with 4 tbsp cold water to form a paste.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a large heavy-bottomed casserole (or pot) and brown the lamb all over in 1-2 batches. Remove.
  • Add a little fresh oil to the casserole, if needed, and gently sauté 1 chopped onion until reasonably tender, stirring now and again.
  • Then add 2 halved cinnamon sticks, 2 tspn cumin seeds and the ground coriander with the cloves, chilli paste and garlic paste. Stir well and briefly cook to toast the spices, continually stirring.
  • Add the tomatoes, pomegranate molasses, 2 cups stock and seasonings. Mix well and bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down, return the lamb shanks in one layer, cover and gently simmer for about 1-1¼ hours until the meat is very tender, adding another cup of stock if needed. Then add the dried apricots, figs and chopped coriander. Stir and briefly cook.
  • When the lamb is almost ready, put 1 tbsp oil with the butter, cardamom, remaining cinnamon stick and the bay leaves in a rice cooker. Heat until the butter has melted.
  • Add the rice and toss to coat well. Then add 2½ cups stock, mix well and cook until the machine turns to warm.
  • Mix together the saffron and a little boiling hot water. Scatter this over the rice and set aside, covered, for 5 mins.
  • While the rice is cooking, heat a little oil in a non-stick pan and fry 2 finely sliced onions with 1 tspn cumin seeds and a good pinch of salt until they begin to crisp, stirring now and again. Drain well on kitchen paper towels.
  • Mound the rice in a bowl and top with the fried onions. Then serve with the lamb and plenty of the sauce spooned over the top.
  • nb. Don’t worry if you don’t have a rice cooker, use a heavy-bottomed pot.


  • 1 large piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 4 large lamb shanks
  • 3 large onions
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, halved
  • 3 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic)
  • 1½-2 litres chicken stock
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 6 dried apricots, chopped
  • 6 dried figs, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed a little
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups basmati rice, washed well & drained
  • a good pinch of saffron threads

Huey's Kitchen takes a lot of care in the preparation of its recipes, but viewers are reminded to always double check that the recipe and all the ingredients are suitable.

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    1 stick125 gm
    a dashless 1/8 tspn
    4 tspn1 tbsp
    3 tbsp1/4 cup
    1 cup250 ml
    4 cups1 litre
    3 tbsp1/2 cup
    1 lb450 gm