4.0/5 rating (7 votes)

Lamb Shawarma

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Joint

  • Heat Medium
  • Serves 6
  • Prep 2 hrs
  • Cook 5 hrs
Lamb Shawarma

Middle Eastern Slow Cooked Spiced Lamb

Hari says

I'm always on the look out to explore different cultures and cooking habits especially where spices are being used. Middle Eastern food fits the bill so amazingly and it's just so popular at the moment. I love their fresh tapas eating style and food culture, especially with all the different condiments and dips the cuisine is famous for.

The use of spices is wide and varied yet slightly different to the way we spice in Indian dishes but it's so unique and some of the rubs that come from this region are simply phenomenal. The use of chilli is a little guarded but you know me I will always cook and adjust to suit my tastes which is just what I did with this slow roasted lamb shawarma. 

Sometimes when I play in my kitchen and spice cupboard I tend to push things more towards the Indian style I like but with this dish there is very little need to do that - it is simply divine. Admittedly I did add a little chilli to my spice marinade but you really don't need to, plus you can add heat to the sides instead.

I urge you to enjoy the low slow cook on this one and let it just do it's thing. I used lamb shoulder because I love the flavour but if that's too fatty for you go with leg. You can remove the bone but I suggest you leave it in as the meat will just fall away and be completely melt in the mouth.

I served mine with a spicy coriander zhoug, hummus glittered with sumac, fresh pomegranate rubies and a spiced turmeric rice topped with toasted almond slivers.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 1.5kg lamb shoulder,
  • one large onion, cut into thick slices
  • 1 cup water


  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder oe paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp sea salt


  1. Place the whole spices (cumin, coriander and cardamom) into your spice grinder and blitz to a powder.
  2. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and blend to create a thick paste.
  3. Cut the onion into thick slices and place in the bottom of your casserole dish.
  4. Score the lamb a little and then coat the marinade paste and place it on the sliced onion in your pan.
  5. Leave the meat to sit for an hour or two at room temp if you have time and when you are ready to cook preheat your oven to 140ºC 
  6. Put approx 250ml of water into the pan (don't pour it over the meat just down the side so the coating stays on the meat. 
  7. Cover the pan and place in the oven for 3-4 hours. Half way through check to ensure there is moisture in the pan.
  8. For the last 30 minutes you can remove the lid so the coating turns golden but do be careful as you don't want it to go too dark.
  9. The lamb should be very tender and start to pull away from the bone very easily. remove from the oven and let it rest before shredding it. Use the sauce in the pan to serve.

Served with

Serve with Zhoug, hummus, pitta breads and fragranced rice.

This goes well with

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