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National dish of Kuwait - Machboos Laham

Recipe: The national dish of Kuwait - Machboos Laham

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 6


The meat

  • 1 kg lamb
  • l water
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 5 pieces cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp oil

The rice

  • 1 kg rice basmati
  • 2 onions
  • 75 g yellow split peas
  • 75 g raisins
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ground cloves
  • black pepper


  • Soak the raisins
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (392°F). Cut the lamb into cubes. In a large pot, combine meat cubes with the water, all whole spices, salt and a small onion, quartered.
  • Bring to boil. Once water has come to boil remove the froth that has come on top with a spoon. Cover and let cook over medium-low heat for 90 minutes. Meanwhile, make the stuffing.
  • In a small saucepan put split peas, cover with water and add 1 tsp of salt. Over medium-high heat bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes, until peas are tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Chop the remaining onions and sauté them in oil, until tender and golden brown.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the cooked split peas and drained raisins. Add cinnamon, gloves, salt, sugar and black pepper. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until everything is well combined. Take off from heat and set aside.
  • After 90 minutes drain the lamb cubes in a colander that is set over a large bowl. Save the stock and discard of the spices.
  • Mix all the ground spices. (Taste the meat to see if it needs more salt.) Rub the dry in-gredients over the meat cubes. Arrange meat on an oven pan.
  • Mix 1 tbsp of saffron water with 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp of the meat stock. Drizzle over meat, cover pan with aluminum foil and enter oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the rice.
  • Wash and drain the rice several times, until water runs clear from the rice, cover with water and mix with 1 tsp salt.
  • Drain rice from water. In a medium non-stick saucepan put rice, pour enough meat stock to cover the rice by 2 cm. Bring to boil over high heat, cover and reduce to medium-low. Cook until rice absorbs all the liquid and is cooked and fluffy – about 15-20 minutes.
  • When it is time to serve, fold meat with stuffing and serve over rice. Drizzle with remain-ing saffron water.
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