Kouzi Ala Timman

Kouzi Al Timman is a popular Iraqi recipe. The lamb is so tender that the meat actually falls off the bones. You know you have made perfect lamb when it falls from the bone. The Middle Eastern spices and tomato go wonderfully well with lamb.Serve this dish with rice and vegetables for a authentic dinner.

6 small lamb shanks
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon baharat spice
1/2 teaspoon  turmeric
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon  tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 dried lime
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Rinse the lamb shanks in cold water, dry and place in oven proof dish. In a pan, fry onions in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, baharat and turmeric. Fry for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water, tomato paste, bay leaf, dried lime, salt and pepper.

2. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F, pour sauce over shanks, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 3 hours (make sure liquid covers lamb, if not add more water).

Yields: 3-4 servings

Macarona Bechamel

A great pasta dish with the famous French Béchamel sauce is a true Arab favorite. This filling dish will satisfy any family. This meal freezes well if you freeze only the pasta and prepare the béchamel after cooking.

1 bag of macaroni pasta(500 grams)cooked and drained

1-1/2 pounds of ground meat
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water

For be’chamel recipe click here

1. In a large skillet on medium heat add meat, onion and garlic until meat is brown and the onion is tender. Drain fat. Stir in tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and 1/3 cup water. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

2. Set aside 1/3 of the sauce. Mix the rest of the sauce with the cooked macaroni. Spread half of the macaroni mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Spread the meat mixture over it evenly. Spread the rest of the macaroni mixture over the meat. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top.

3. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Let sit for five minutes. Then serve.

Yields: 12 servings


This is truly a delightful yet traditional Arabic meal. The spices and the soft lamb will send you straight to your own private bliss. The long cooking of the lamb is truly the secret to perfect lamb.

2 shoulder’s of lamb, cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, quartered
1 tablespoon garlic

2-1/2 cups basmati rice
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4-1/4 cups lamb or chicken stock
1/3 cup almonds, sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Rub cinnamon, allspice, cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper all over lamb with the oil. Place in a roasting pan and place into oven. After 20 minutes remove pan from oven and cover lamb with water, add onion and garlic. Cover the top with foil and place back into the oven reducing oven to 300F. Allow to cook for 3-1/2 hours.

2. RICE: In a 9 inch skillet add ground beef and onions, cook until no longer pink. In a 4-quart sauce pan add oil, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add rice and pour in boiling stock so that 1 inch of stock covers top of rice. Raise rice to a full boil then reduce to low for 10 minutes. Do not remove lid.

3. In a small skillet on medium heat add pine nuts and almonds until golden. Set aside.

4. In a large serving platter add rice, lamb and decorate top with nuts.

Yields: 12 servings

Chicken Shawarma

Fresh pita bread
Whole dill pickle cut long ways into 4 pieces
Garlic sauce (2 garlic bulbs, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup corn oil, 2 tbs lemon juice) mix in processor
2 lbs of boneless chicken breast cut into pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp red crushed chili
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sumac

Place spices and lemon juice in a bowl to make thick paste, Place chicken in bowl and mix all together. Marinate (the longer the better). Preheat oven to 450 F, grease a baking dish, put chicken in and bake for 20 mins, take out turn chicken and bake for about 10 more minutes or until chicken is tender. Take out and shred chicken with knife. Mix chicken with sumac.

ASSEMBLY: take pita bread, put a layer of garlic spread, add chicken, pickle and then roll and wrap in foil or napkin.