Karim's Lamb Kabuli Palau


(Serves 8)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 small (1.5kg) lamb shanks

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 4 black cardamom pods

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 3 cloves

  • 3 cups (---g) basmati rice, rinsed, soaked for 1 hour

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • Finely chopped parsley, to serve



  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • ½ cup (60g) slivered almonds

  • 1/3 cup (40g) pistachios

  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut in to thin batons

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • 1 cup (150g) sultanas



Heat the oil in a large pot over medium to high heat. Add the lamb shanks. Cook, turning, until browned and sealed on all sides. Remove.

STEP 2.    

Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes until golden. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and cloves. Cook for a further minute or until fragrant.

STEP 3.    

Return the lamb to the pot. Cover with 2 litres of water or just enough to cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

STEP 4.    

Skim the top of the stock. Strain in to a bowl. Transfer lamb, onion and spices to another bowl. Return stock to the pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Set aside.

STEP 5.    

Place 3 litres of water in a large pot over medium to high heat. Season with salt. Bring to the boil. Add the rice. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until rice is three quarters cooked. Drain and return rice to pot.

STEP 6.    

Place sugar and 1 tablespoon of the stock into a small non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Bring to a simmer. Add the cumin and 400 mls of the stock. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

STEP 7.    

Pour half of the sugar and stock mixture over the rice and gently toss to coat. Place the lamb on top of the rice, spooning some of the rice over the lamb. Pour over remaining stock.

STEP 8.    

Create holes with the back of a wooden spoon for steam to escape. Cover with the lid and set over high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for a further 20 minutes or until rice is completely cooked through.

STEP 9.    

Meanwhile, to prepare the garnish, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the almonds and pistachios. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

STEP 10.    

Heat remaining oil in pan. Add the carrots and sugar. Cook, stirring until carrot is softened. Stir in the sultanas. Remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

STEP 11.    

To assemble, remove the lamb meat from the bone in large pieces. Spoon the rice onto a large serving platter. Sprinkle over half the toasted nuts, carrot mixture and lamb. Repeat with remaining rice and garnishes. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.

TIPS: Make sure you use a premium grade basmati rice