COUNTRY:                           UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

DISH:                                     LAMB MACHBOUS

CONTRIBUTED BY:            Kalthoom O. K. Mubarak A.  Spouse to the Ambassador


Ingredients (Serves 10)

For the lamb

salt, to taste

1/2 tbsp turmeric

3-1/2 tbsp bezar spice

Small lamb weighing 5-6kg, rinsed, dried and marinated overnight with salt, bezar, lemon juice and saffron

For the gravy


6 onions, sliced

50g each, chopped green chillies, garlic and ginger

3-1/2 tbsp bezar spice

1/2 tbsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

10 each, cinnamon sticks and cardamom

8 cloves

1 cup each, sultanas, whole blanched almonds and whole unsalted raw cashew nuts

6 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 cup tomato paste

curry leaves, a handful

For the rice

2.5kg rice

Salt to taste

ghee or clarified butter, a dollop

For garnishing

6 cups yellow split peas, boiled with salt and turmeric and sauteed with 3 finely sliced onions until brown

1 tbsp bezar spice

2 tsp saffron, soaked in lemon juice

1 tbsp rose water




Heat water in a deep saucepan and boil lamb with salt, turmeric and a little bezar spice for 45 minutes. Remove lamb from the stock and keep aside. Reserve the stock for the rice.


heat oil in a large saucepan, and sauté onions until golden brown. Add garlic, ginger and green chillies and sauté until the ingredients are softened and a little brown. Add bezar, turmeric, ground cinnamon, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and dry fruits and continue to sauté on low heat for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, curry leaves and half the fresh coriander and continue cooking on low heat for a minute. Add lamb to it and season with salt.


Boil it in a large saucepan with 3 litres of water until all the water has been absorbed.

add the reserved lamb stock and cook until all the stock has been absorbed. Spoon ghee over and keep aside.

Spoon lamb and gravy on top of the rice and garnish with the remaining coriander. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

Remove from heat and set rice aside. Garnish with sautéed split peas and bezar spice.

Sprinkle with rose water and saffron.

Serve hot.