Persian rice with spinach, spices 
and lamb

This beautiful dish takes a little effort but is perfect for a special meal and will make a fabulous showstopper on your Yom Tov table.

  • place SERVES 12
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  • Heat your oven to 180°C.
  • Lay the lamb shoulder on a large oven tray; add the onions, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp of sunflower oil, the honey mustard and rub well over the meat. Add 100ml of water and cook in the oven for two and a half hours turning the joint every 30 minutes.
  • Cool the meat and and shred it and put to one side.
  • In a cooking pot large enough to contain all the ingredients, add 2 – 4 tbsp of sunflower oil (enough to coat the potatoes) and the sliced potatoes. Shallow fry them on both sides until golden and starting to crisp up.
  • Pour boiling water over the spinach to wilt it. Drain and put aside.
  • Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
  • In another large non-stick pot, add 150ml sunflower oil, the onion and garlic and fry at medium heat until they are soft and starting to brown.
  • Add the rice and stir. Add the parsley, lamb, spinach, spices, harissa and mix.
  • Add 900ml of water (I use cups to measure the volume of water using a ratio of 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.)
  • Cook uncovered over a high heat, turning down to medium when the water starts to boil, and stirring regularly until the water evaporates. Taste in order to correct the seasoning — it will be hard to do this one the rice has set.
  • Spoon this over the fried potatoes and leave it to cook over a medium heat for 6-8
  • To serve, using oven gloves to hold the plate tightly over the pan, invert the pan over a large serving dish.
  • Serve immediately, or cover with foil until ready to serve. You can warm it in the oven for 10-20 minutes at medium temperature if you want to serve it hot.


2.5kg lamb shoulder

2 medium brown onions, sliced thinly

250ml (approx) sunflower oil

4 tbsp honey mustard

Salt and pepper

500g fresh spinach 

500g small Charlotte potatoes washed and sliced thinly

500g basmati rice

100g flat parsley, roughly chopped

2 large red onions, finely diced

12 cloves garlic, finely diced 

1 tsp each of: turmeric, sweet paprika, coriander powder, all spice

2 tbsp harissa

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