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lamb kabsa with tomato salsa, tri colour rice and tabouli recipe

lamb kabsa with tomato salsa, rice and tabouli in a serving dish

By The Shahrouk sisters

Difficulty not too difficult
Cooking time more than 2 hours
Serves 6


Lamb kabsa

6 lamb necks, 2.5cm thick
500g lamb shoulder, cut into large cubes
250g Greek yogurt
50g ghee
1 onion, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 birds eye chillies, crushed
¼ bunch coriander, chopped
2 dried limes, cracked
3 star anise
5 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
2 nutmeg, cracked
2 sticks cinnamon
2 allspice, crushed slightly
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon aniseed seeds
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons all spice
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 large ripe tomato, finely diced
30g ghee
50g split almonds
50g pistachios
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
50g sultanas
50g raisins
50g sweetened dried cranberries

Tri-colour rice
1½ cups basmati rice
½-⅔ cup cooking liquid from lamb
pinch powdered yellow food colouring
pinch powdered tandoori colouring

Tomato salsa
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small white onion, peeled
1-2 birdseye chillies
juice from ½ lemon
3 teaspoons white vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fine burghul
1 large bunch continental parsley, washed and dried
6 large mint leaves, washed and dried
3 spring onions
½ small brown onion
1 large red tomato
juice of lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
baby cos lettuce leaves, to garnish
freshly chopped coriander leaves, to garnish


1. For the lamb kabsa, place lamb neck and shoulder pieces in a large bowl, add yogurt and rub yoghurt into lamb. Set aside.

2. Place 50g ghee into a wide deep saucepan and heat over low heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Add garlic, chilli and coriander and cook until fragrant. Add lamb and cook for 3 minutes on each side to seal lamb. Place all spices and herbs into a piece of fine cheesecloth and tie to create a secure pouch. Add spices to saucepan and add 2.5L water or enough to cover lamb. Add diced tomato and 1-2 teaspoons salt to taste, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours until lamb is tender. Remove from heat and allow lamb to rest in liquid until serving.

3. For the tri colour rice, bring 2½ cups of water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 9-10 minutes until liquid has absorbed and rice has almost cooked through. Add cooking liquid from lamb, cover and simmer until rice is cooked through. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Remove ½ cup rice and place into a bowl with yellow food colouring. Stir until coloured. Remove ⅓ cup of rice and place into a bowl with tandoori food colouring and mix well. Return coloured rice to plain rice in saucepan and gently stir through to combine. Set aside.

4. Heat 30g ghee in a small saucepan over low heat. Add nuts and cook until lightly golden. Scoop out nuts and drain on paper towel. Pour remaining ghee into saucepan with lamb. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in small saucepan over low heat. Add sultanas, raisins and dried cranberries and cook for 1-2 minutes until plump and lightly golden. 

5. For the tomato salsa, place tomatoes, onion, chilli, lemon juice, vinegar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Place into a bowl with parsley and mix will. Set aside in fridge.

6. For the tabouli, soak burghul in ¼ cup of boiling water for 5-8 minutes or until softened. Rinse and drain well.

7. Finely chop parsley, mint, spring onions and onion and place into a bowl.

8. Finely dice tomatoes and add to the bowl.

9. Sprinkle over burghul, wrap in cling and refrigerate until required.

10. Just before serving add lemon juice, oil and salt to the bowl, mixing well to combine. Taste for seasoning. Arrange cos lettuce leaves around a medium serving bowl. Spoon tabouli into bowl.

11. To serve, divide lamb shoulder between 6 serving plates. Cover with tri colour rice.  Place a portion of lamb neck next to rice and cover with tomato salsa.  Garnish plate with fried nuts and fruit and a sprinkle of coriander. Serve with tabouli on the side.

Image and recipe courtesy of the Shahrouk sisters for Family Food Fight

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