Lamb Kabsa

Lamb Kabsa

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Total Time:

Lamb Kabsa is a quintessential Ramadan dish in our home. It’s my husband’s favorite rice dish and one I love to make and serve for the guests we welcome into our home to break fast with. Kabsa is a dish that originated in Yemen but is enjoyed across the Arabian Gulf, the Middle East and its diaspora. It is heavily spiced and super delicious, the true star of a festive tablescape!



  • 4 lamb shanks, 4-5 lbs
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 3 cups Royal brand Sella basmati rice
  • 5 ½ cup water
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 dried limes
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 3 clove
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 tsp whole black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, mint and scallions
  • 3 thai chili peppers, sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced.
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds, pistachio, pine nuts


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add cleaned, trimmed lamb shanks. Boil lamb shanks for 10 minutes to remove impurities. Drain and remove lamb from the pot and set aside.
  2.  In a medium sized pot, heat ghee on medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and cook for five minutes to release liquid.
  3. Add both whole and ground spices and stir fry for 2 additional minutes.
  4. Add lamb shanks back into the pot and coat with sauce. Cover with water and allow to come to a boil before reducing to medium-low heat and covering the pot. Allow to cook for 2 hours or until tender.
  5. Remove lamb and aromatics from the pot and strain the stock using a sieve.
  6. Sear lamb shanks until evenly browned.
  7. Add washed Royal brand Sella  basmati rice and strained stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce temperature to low, tightly cover the pot and allow Royal Brand Sella rice to simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Turn off heat and allow rice to rest covered for an additional 10 minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving.
  10. Add in chopped herbs, onion and chili peppers.
  11. Add to a serving platter and top with seared lamb shanks.
  12. Garnish remaining toasted nuts, raisins, fried onions and cilantro.


TIP: Kabsa is an amazing stand alone dish, but do try to serve it with salad, yogurt and a hot sauce like a Yemeni sahawag.