Lamb shanks with chickpeas & Moroccan spices

Couscous goes well with the North African flavours of this dish

  • Prep:1 hrs 30 mins
    Cook:2 hrs
    Ready in 4 hrs, plus soaking time for chickpeas
  • Serves 4
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 653
  • fat 27g
  • saturates 10g
  • carbs 55g
  • sugars 1g
  • fibre 11g
  • protein 50g
  • salt 0.47g


  • 175g dried chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 lamb shanks (medium)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chooped fresh root ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • pinch of saffron strands
  • 2cm/¼in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 450g carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 140g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 50g blanched almonds, fried in butter until browned
  • chopped fresh coriander


Make it different
Canned chickpeas are cooked, so adjust the cooking time. Start at step 2 and omit the chickpeas in step 3, adding just 425ml/0.25 pint water. Add a drained and rinsed 410g can of chickpeas at the beginning of step 4.


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Drain, tip into a saucepan and cover generously with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, simmer for 45 minutes and drain.

  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the lamb all over. Remove and set aside. Pour off most of the fat, leaving 1 tablespoon in the dish, add the onions and fry for 8-10 minutes until soft.

  3. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C. Mix together the ginger, garlic, chillies, cumin, coriander, pepper and paprika. Add half of this to the onions, tip in the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Put in the lamb and chickpeas, cover generously with water (about 850ml/11?2 pints), bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and cook in the oven for 11?2-2 hours until the chickpeas are really tender. (You can prepare up to this stage the day before. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Bring back to simmering point before starting step 4.)

  4. Remove from the oven and stir in the remaining spice mixture, the saffron and cinnamon, carrots, apricots, honey and salt. Cover and return to the oven for 45 minutes-1 hour until the lamb is tender and the vegetables cooked. Scatter the almonds and coriander on top.

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