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Lamb, Chickpeas & Kabsa

Lamb, Chickpeas & Kabsa

Kabsa is a Saudi Arabian spice mix that can be mixed to be fiery or mild. Of course, I lean towards fiery, and I grind my own. This dish is an Eastern take on a classic roast lamb, garlic and white bean recipe.  I keep the lamb and the garlic, swap out the white beans for the chickpeas, and add the kabsa.  It’s easy to make, but takes a while to cook properly. I also use the cheapest, fattiest cuts of lamb, because those are the cuts that will roast without drying out.

Lamb, Chickpeas & Kabsa

Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Saudi Arabian
Keyword hot, spicy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 756kcal


  • 2 lbs lamb neck, shanks or other fatty cut, chopped into 2" cubes
  • 3 cans garbanzo beans drained
  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 T olive oil

For the kabsa

  • 1 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1/2 t lime zest
  • 1/2 t cloves
  • 1/2 t coriander seeds


  • Lay a teflon sheet on the bottom of a large baking tray. (I use my oven broiling trays.) Preheat the oven to 350F / 170C.
  • Grind up all the spices for the kabsa, in a mortar, spice grinder or blender. If you use a blender, you can add the olive oil to the spice mixture and blend. I use fresh whole spices and grind/blend because I think it tastes a lot better.
  • Put the lamb chunks, garbanzos, olive oil, head of garlic and spice mixture in a large bowl and toss like a salad, until all the pieces are coated with oil and spices.
  • Lay out the lamb mixture in one layer in the baking tray. Put the tray in the oven and cook for about 90 minutes. If the lamb looks like it's drying out, cover with foil. The garbanzos should get a bit crunchy.
    Lamb & chickpeas before cooking
  • Squeeze the roasted head of garlic out on the lamb and chick pease and stir it in. Serve piping hot over rice. I garnish it with yogurt and (depending on your heat tolerance) fresh hot peppers (Thai or habeneros).


Depending on how fatty your lamb is, you can decrease or increase the amount of olive oil.

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