Melt-in-your-mouth Lamb Shawarma with Apricot and Sultana Couscous

An absolutely delicious recipe for a flavour of North Africa this Easter

Three simple steps (two, if you cheat and buy the spice mix!) but definitely worth the effort 🙂

Step 1 – Ras El Hanout Spice mix

Prep time: 3 minutes

Cooking time: 3 minutes

Makes: 1 small jar


  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 2tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp fennel seeds
  • 2tsp chilli flakes
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 2tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tsp dried rose petals
  • 1.5tsp ground cardamom
  • 1.5tsp paprika
  • 1.5tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp allspice


  • Gently toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a skillet over medium heat, tossing the pan frequently to avoid burning
  • Blitz everything for a few seconds in a clean coffee grinder until it’s in powder form
  • Store any excess in an air tight container for up to 1 month

Step 2 – Lamb Shawarma

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: around 3.5 hours

Serves: 4 plus leftovers


  • 1 lamb shoulder joint, bone-in (around 1.5 kg)
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 4tbsp Ras El Hanout spice mix (see above)
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 500ml low-sodium meat or veg stock


  • Take your lamb out of the fridge an hour before cooking
  • Preheat your oven to 170C / 150C fan /  Gas mark 3
  • Make the spice mix (or cheat and buy from the shops!), then add 4tbsp of it to a small bowl along with the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix well to combine
  • To prepare the lamb, place onions cut side up in the middle of a roasting tray. Make smallish incisions around 3cm apart along the lamb shoulder then place the lamb on top of the onions
  • Rub the spice mix generously all over the lamb and into the incisions
  • Pour the stock around the lamb – not on top of the lamb, as you’ll wash off the rub!
  • Seal the roasting tray very tightly with two sheets of tin foil, to seal in the steam during cooking which will leave the lamb lovely and moist

Cook in the oven for around 3.5 hours or until the meat easily falls off the bone

Step 3 – Couscous with Apricots and Sultanas

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes


  • 100g giant wholewheat couscous
  • 300ml cold water
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp garam masala
  • 25g dried apricots, chopped
  • 25g sultanas, chopped
  • 1tsp mint, fresh (chopped) or dried
  • Salt and pepper


  • Prepare the couscous around 20 minutes before the lamb is ready
  • Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan on low heat and gently toss the grains until golden (around 2-3 mins)
  • Add 250 ml of the water, lemon juice and garam masala to the pan and stir to combine
  • Gradually add more water and stir well. The Couscous is ready when it’s soft (around 10 mins)
  • Drain any excess water and place the couscous into a serving dish. Stir through the apricots, sultanas and mint. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper

A North African feast that all the family will love!

Enjoy x

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Published by misterrands


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