Lamb shanks with chickpeas & Moroccan spices

Lamb shanks with chickpeas & Moroccan spices

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins - 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs Ready in 4 hrs, plus soaking time for chickpeas

More effort

Serves 4
Couscous goes well with the North African flavours of this dish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal653
  • fat27g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs55g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre11g
  • protein50g
  • salt0.47g
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  • 175g dried chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 lamb shanks (medium)



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 2 medium onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tsp finely chooped fresh root ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely chopped



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 2 tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • pinch of saffron strands



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 2cm/¼in piece of cinnamon stick
  • 450g carrots, cut into thick slices



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 140g ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 1 tsp clear honey

To serve

  • 50g blanched almonds, fried in butter until browned
  • chopped fresh coriander


  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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Comments (24)

gailwylde's picture

Great dish if you don't know what time everyone will be in for dinner - the longer you leave it the better it gets!!

champion's picture

This recipe is the best thing I have ever cooked it tasted gorgeous and my whole family loved - the spices were just right and I would highly recommend it.

wendywoods's picture

Have not tried this recipe yet, but am cooking my lamb shanks in red wine, lots of onions, leeks and celery, garlic and thyme. Will serve with mustard mash and green vegetables. It is usually delicious and my 10 year old grandson says nobody does lamb shanks like Nanny!!! I will certainly try the above recipe

berryt's picture

Really liked this - due to guests being late it sat in the oven for ages, and was all the better for it. Good flavour and went well with the lemon and coriander cous-cous


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