Thursday , February 29 2024

“Ghuzi: A Culinary Delight from the Arabian Peninsula”


Ghuzi, also known as “Lamb Kabsa,” is a traditional Arabian dish that has been cherished for generations. With its rich and aromatic blend of spices, tender slow-cooked lamb, and fragrant rice, Ghuzi is a true culinary masterpiece. This dish holds a special place in Arabian cuisine, and its preparation is often reserved for special occasions and celebrations. In this article, we will delve into the history of Ghuzi and provide you with a step-by-step recipe to recreate this delectable Arabian delight at home.

History of Ghuzi

The origins of Ghuzi can be traced back to the Arabian Peninsula, where it has been a staple in the culinary culture for centuries. This dish’s history is deeply intertwined with the Bedouin way of life, where food had to be hearty, flavorful, and capable of sustaining desert travelers through long journeys. Ghuzi emerged as the perfect solution to these demands.

The word “Ghuzi” itself refers to the traditional method of cooking meat and rice together, resulting in a fragrant one-pot meal. While there are regional variations of Ghuzi throughout the Middle East, the basic components of the dish remain consistent: aromatic rice, slow-cooked meat, and a medley of spices.


Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to prepare a sumptuous Ghuzi:

For the Lamb:

  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) of lamb, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Rice:

  • 3 cups of long-grain Basmati rice
  • 4 cups of chicken or lamb broth
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Arabic spice mix (Baharat)
  • 1/2 cup of blanched almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 large carrots, julienned
  • 2 large red bell peppers, julienned
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee or clarified butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Garnish:

  • Fresh coriander or parsley, finely chopped
  • Lemon wedges

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s move on to the cooking process.

Cooking Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Lamb

  1. Start by marinating the lamb chunks. In a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, ground cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  2. Rub the spice mixture over the lamb pieces, ensuring they are evenly coated. Allow the lamb to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but for the best results, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent.
  4. Add the marinated lamb to the pot and brown it on all sides, creating a rich and flavorful base for your Ghuzi. This step should take about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Slow Cook the Lamb

  1. Pour in enough water to cover the lamb, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and allow the lamb to cook slowly for about 2-3 hours or until it becomes tender and easily shreds with a fork.
  2. Throughout the cooking process, periodically check the water level and add more if necessary to keep the lamb covered.
  3. Once the lamb is tender, use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Set the shredded lamb aside while you prepare the rice.

Step 3: Prepare the Rice

  1. Rinse the Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch, ensuring fluffy rice grains.
  2. In a large pot, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the julienned carrots and red bell peppers, and sauté them until they start to soften.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and Arabic spice mix (Baharat). Cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  4. Add the washed rice to the pot, stirring to combine it with the vegetable and spice mixture.
  5. Pour in the chicken or lamb broth, bringing the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
  6. When the rice is ready, fluff it with a fork and add the shredded lamb, toasted almonds, pine nuts, and raisins (if desired). Gently fold these ingredients into the rice mixture.

Step 4: Serve Your Ghuzi

  1. Once everything is combined, transfer the Ghuzi to a large serving platter.
  2. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander or parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Enjoy your homemade Ghuzi, a true Arabian culinary masterpiece that’s bound to impress your family and friends!

Tips and Variations

  • Ghuzi is traditionally served with flatbreads, such as pita or naan, and a side of yogurt or tzatziki sauce for a delightful contrast of flavors.
  • You can adjust the spice level to your preference. If you like it spicier, add more chili powder or red pepper flakes.
  • Some variations of Ghuzi include the addition of dried apricots or prunes for a touch of sweetness, which pairs wonderfully with the savory spices.
  • Experiment with different meats if you prefer. While lamb is the traditional choice, chicken or beef can also be used to make a delicious Ghuzi.


Ghuzi, with its blend of aromatic spices, tender meat, and fragrant rice, is a delightful representation of Arabian cuisine. This hearty dish has a rich history and continues to be cherished by those who savor its flavorful embrace. Now, with our step-by-step recipe, you can bring the authentic taste of Ghuzi to your own kitchen and share it with loved ones, making any occasion a special one with this Arabian delight. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary journey to savor the wonderful world of Ghuzi.

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