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Bahraini Spiced Lamb and Rice: Machbous

What's The Big Idea?

This dish is popular throughout the Gulf region, and very traditional. Sometimes it is cooked with fish, or occasionally chicken, but lamb is the traditional and most common main ingredient. It's not too dissimilar to a biriani, so if you like that sort of thing, give this recipe a go!

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1½lbs lamb, cut into large cubes
  • Plenty of salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime peel
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 10oz basmati rice

What To Do

  • Mix together the black pepper, ground coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg and paprika, and set aside
  • Trim any excess fat from the lamb, and rub some salt into the meat
  • Heat the oil in a large flame-proof casserole and fry the lamb until sealed on all sides
  • Add the onions and fry until the lamb is brown and the onions are golden
  • Add the spice mix, the tomatoes, the fresh coriander, the lime peel and the turmeric
  • Mix well, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes
  • Add the rice and about ½ pint of water, cover, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, adding more water if needed

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