This dish is inspired by Moroccan flavors, which I love. The use of fruit brightens up the rich and heavy flavors of lamb. Although this dish does require some work, with so many ingredients, it is all very simple considering the restaurant quality meal you’ll be able to present.

Braised Lamb Shanks with Chickpeas and Dried Fruit
~2 very large portions

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 lamb shanks (totaling 2.86 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (19-ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 5 ounces mixed dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, cherries, blueberries, chopped apricots)
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 (1″) cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon zest
  • serve with cous cous and/or flatbread (optional)


1. Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Rub all over lamb shanks. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium sized dutch oven and brown the lamb shanks, about 8 minutes. Transfer lamb a plate.

rubbed lamb shanks

2. Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes.


3. Add broth, garbanzo beans, dried fruits, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon peel and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.

4. Return lamb to skillet and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, turning lamb occasionally until tender, about 2 hours.


Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed (I did not need to). Serve with cous cous and/or flatbread if desired.

Braised Lamb Shanks 4

There is more stuff (sauce, chickpeas, and fruit) than necessary but you’ll want all of it to eat with flatbread or pita. It’s comforting and soothing, yet healthy. Enjoy!
posted by jessica at 10:50 AM Filed under Middle Eastern, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.