Kebsah with Lamb Shanks

Did I mention that I was a massive foodie? Well I don’t just like to eat great food buy love to cook too.

This was a dish I made called Kebsah with Lamb. The basic difference between Kebsah ( which is a middle eastern dish) and biryani is that Biryani has a yogurt base, while Kebsah has a tomato-base.

This was my first attempt at making this dish and it came out quite wonderful. I worked of a few recipes and figure out how to adjust the flavors myself.

Kebsah with Lamb Shanks


  • 4 cups Basmati Rice (Must be soaked for atleast half hour before hand, up to 12 hrs)
  • 1 cube Chicken Boullion
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 can Tomato Paste (small can)
  • 1 can Crushed Tomatoes (large can. Can also use store bought tomatoes, just peel them and then blend them into a puree.)
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 6 cloves Garlic minced (or one heapiung tbsp of garlic paste.)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Ghee or Butter or Oil
  • 3 Lamb Shanks (cut in the middle (ask your butcher))


  • 1 Dried Lemon ((you can get it at any Middle Eastern grocery store))
  • 1 Large Carrot (Julienned)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (peeled and slivered)


Step 1.
Heat a large enough pot and add the ghee, or butter or oil to it.
Step 2.
Once the oil is very hot add the shanks and brown then. Do just 2 at a time so that the browning is even and the oil doesn't cool down. Once the shanks are reasonably browned (not burnt) take them out and out them aside.
Step 3.
In the pot add the chopped onion and let them saute for a bit until they're translucent.
Step 4.
Add the minced garlic cloves, or garlic paste and stir into the onions
Step 5.
Add the ginger paste and mix into the onions.
Step 6.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste and let this simmer for about 10 mins. Add the garam masala into this and let it simmer for about 5 more mintues. Then add the lamb shanks back into the pot and stir them into the paste. If the paste is too thick that it is sticking to the bottom add about a cup of water. Add the dried lime to the pot and cover. Let the shanks cook in this for 30 mins.
Step 7.
In a separate pot bring the 5 cups of water to a boil and add the bouillon cube to it.
Step 8.
Drain the soaked rice and put it aside.
Step 9.
Once the Shanks are done take them out of the tomato mix and place them on a plate and cover with foil
Step 10.
Stir the rice into the tomato soup where the shanks were just take out of. Top with the bouillon broth from the pot until just above the rice. Cover the pot and let it simmer on low heat for 20 mins or until the rice is done and the broth is absorbed. Depending on the type of pot you're using this can be a bit risky. The risk is less if you are using a shallow wide pot than a deep narrow one. The best way to cook the rice is to cook it in a 375 F oven until done. This way there is no fear of burning and the heat is equal on all sides.
Step 11.
In a frying pan fry up the carrots in a bit of oil until they are caramilized. Add the raisins and let them fluff up and then add the slivered almonds. This is what you're going to top the rice with.
Step 12.
After the rice is done. Take your lamb shanks and char them a bit under the broiler (optional)
Step 13.
Plate the rice, place the shanks in them and then top them with the carrot, raisin almond mix.
Step 14.
Enjoy the noms.