Qidreh (Palestinian Spiced Lamb and Rice Recipe)

4 servings


30 minutes

active time

3 hours

total time


4 tsp Baharat (7-spice blend), Divided (- Or equal parts cumin, coriander and cinnamon)

1 tsp Turmeric, Divided

3-4 lbs Lamb shanks (- See note)

Salt and black pepper

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Onion (- Peeled and halved)

4-5 Garlic cloves (- Smashed roughly)

2 Cinnamon sticks

3 Bay leaves

5-6 Cardamom pods (- lightly cracked)

5-6 cups Water

1 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Olive oil

1 Onion (- Chopped)

3-4 Garlic cloves (- Finely minced)

1 can Chickpeas (- Drained and rinsed)

1 ½ cups Basmati Rice (- Rinsed)

¼ tsp Saffron (- Optional)

1 tbsp Olive Oil

¼ cup Slivered almonds

2-4 tbsp Fresh parsley (- Roughly chopped)


Sear the lamb and make the broth

Season the lamb. Liberally season the lamb with salt and black pepper.

Sear the lamb. In a large Dutch oven set on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear the lamb on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The lamb should get golden brown. Lower the heat if the oil begins to scorch.

Add aromatics and water. To the pot with the lamb shanks, add the onion halves, smashed garlic cloves, and the water. Add the whole spices (cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom pods) with a big pinch of salt.

Bring to a simmer and skim. Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer. Skim the foam that comes up to the surface, being careful not to pick up any spices in the process.

Add ground spices. Once you see that there’s no more foam forming on the surface, add 2 teaspoons baharat and ½ teaspoon turmeric. Cover the pot slightly, making sure there’s room for steam to escape.

Simmer. Simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. If your meat is not covered fully by the broth, turn it over about halfway through. Avoid adding more water unless the water level really gets low.

Remove meat. Remove he lamb shanks and place them on a baking tray.

Strain the broth. Using a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, strain the broth. Discard the aromatics and whole spices. Set the bowl aside to cool.

Skim the fat. Using a spoon, carefully skim the fat off the broth. Alternatively, you can cool the broth completely in the fridge and remove the solidified layer of fat that forms.

Prepare the rice

Fry the rice aromatics. In a pot, add butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chopped onions, minced garlic, 2 teaspoons baharat, ½ teaspoon turmeric and a pinch of salt. Don’t add too much salt, as the broth will be used to cook the rice is already salted. Fry on medium until the onions have softened.

Add the chickpeas. To the same pot, add the drained chickpeas.

Add the rice and saffron. To the same pot, add the rinsed rice. Add the saffron threads, if using.

Add broth. Add 3 cups of the broth to the pot, bring it to a boil, and then turn down to low heat. Cover and steam the pot for 20 minutes, until the rice is tender. See note on rice to water ratio.

Broil the lamb and prepare the garnish

Broil the lamb. While the rice cooks, broil the lamb for a few minutes to get some charring. The charring will amplify the flavor.

Toast the almonds. To a frying pan or small skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the almonds. Fry on medium heat until the almonds brown lightly, 2-3 minutes. Drain the almonds on a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve. On a large serving platter, layer the rice with the fried almonds. Lay the cooked lamb on top of the rice. You can also shred the lamb and place the pieces of meat over the rice if you prefer. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.


Serving Size



742 kcal

Total Fat

21 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Unsaturated Fat

15 g

Trans Fat

0.01 g


95 mg


165 mg

Total Carbohydrate

93 g

Dietary Fiber

11 g

Total Sugars

8 g


44 g

4 servings


30 minutes

active time

3 hours

total time
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