Arabian Roast Lamb Fit for a King and Queen, With Spiced Rice

"This is a mouthwatering recipe for Arabian roast lamb and spiced rice, and it is truly fit for a King and Queen! Roast leg or shoulder of lamb which is cooked a la cuillère (to such tenderness that you can cut it "with a spoon" ), accompanied by rice with ground meat and nuts, is a traditional and central part of any Arabian feast. This recipe which I have slightly adapted, is from Claudia Roden's book "Arabesque". She says that she got the recipe from famed caterer Nazira Bitar, who prepared a banquet in Stockholm that was hosted by the King of Jordan for King Gustav and Queen Silvia."
photo by lynn E. photo by lynn E.
photo by lynn E.
Ready In:




  • Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Wash and trim the lamb of any excess fat, and pat dry with a clean cloth.
  • Rub the leg of lamb all over with the spices, salt, pepper, and oil. Place it in a large roasting pan and put it into the preheated oven. After 20 minutes, take the pan out of the oven, pour in 4 1/4 cups water, and add the onion and garlic. Cover the meat with a large sheet of foil and put it back in the oven. Lower the heat to 300F degrees, and cook for 3 hours.
  • While the meat is cooking, prepare the rice. Wash the rice in cold water, rinse in a fine mesh strainer under cold running water, and drain. In a large pan, fry the onion in 2 tablespoons oil until it is soft and beginning to color. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, turning it over and crushing it with a fork to break up any lumps, until it has changed color. Add salt and pepper and all the spices: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir well and add the rice, then stir again.
  • Pour in the boiling stock, mix well, and simmer, covered, for about 10 to 20 minutes until the rice is tender. Add a little stock or water if it becomes too dry. Drain (if necessary) and keep it on the side until you are ready to serve.
  • Fry the almonds, pistachios, and pine nuts separately in the remaining oil until they just begin to color. When the leg of lamb is ready, place it on a serving dish with the rice. You can cut the meat off the bone into slices, if you wish. Sprinkle the fried nuts all over the rice. Serve the flavorsome meat broth produced at the bottom of the roasting pan as a sauce. Heat it through and serve it in a jug, first pouring off as much of the fat from the top as you can.

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  1. is not easy to sign into to leave comments! It took 10 minutes to do this but I thought it was worthy of 5 stars. This could be why there are few reviews. The only thing I didn't like was the cardamom, so I would leave it out unless you are a fan. I also added 1/2 tsp turmeric to help reduce the smell of the lamb. My husband is Persian and he liked this.
  2. Second attempt leaving a review. Wonderful recipe. Was perfect! My husband's comment was


<p>Married to my sweetheart for almost forty years and we have two wonderful children who are grown and have flown the coop. Also, we have been blessed with a wonderful son-in-law and beautiful daughter-in-law, plus FIVE grandchildren: two beautiful granddaughters ages five and eight, and three sweet adorable little grandsons ages 2 months, 2 years and 3 years. My husband and I share a combination of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, Swiss, Polish, Austrian, German and French heritage, and our son-in-law and daughter-in-law are both Hispanic. We've traveled extensively to many countries abroad (we lived in Germany), and have traveled and lived in several states here in the U.S.A. Many of the recipes I post here are influenced by our combined heritage or from our travels, or they are old family favorites that I want to share with you. I hope you enjoy! Have been to culinary school with many years of cooking (mostly for my family) under my belt, so know my way around a kitchen. And I'm very lucky to have the best sous chef in the world, dddddh! One of my favorite chefs of all time is Jacques Pepin! I have several of his cookbooks, and enjoy watching his television cooking show Fast Food My Way. Another top favorite is Julia Child (of course!). A few other chefs I read/enjoy watching on t.v. are: Giada At Home, Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa, Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites, and Patti's Mexican Kitchen, and many more. On my bucket list is dining at Thomas Keller's establishment The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California... as well as Alice Waters' Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and the James Beard award winning Tartine Bakery and Cafe in San Francisco. One day!! &nbsp; Hobbies/Interests: Decorating with fresh flowers and herbs from the garden is my passion, and brings me deep joy! It's really hard to beat!! I love connecting with others who enjoy the same. Gardening, decorating, sewing, music, dancing, film, and reading are also up there. Spending quality time with my grandchildren, family, and friends (and cooking holiday meals!). Currently, a newfound passion has been so richly rewarding for me: genealogical research. I heart ancestry dot com. And last but certainly not least, I absolutely LOVE cats--we have two half-Siamese fur babies (cats) that allow us to live here!!&nbsp; &nbsp; A Note of Thanks~ I try to personally thank everyone who kindly makes and reviews my recipes, but sometimes I am busy, late, or may forget. Please know that I am always humbled that you would try one of my recipes, and I enjoy reading the reviews and seeing all the pretty photographs. Thanks so much!&nbsp;</p>
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