Qidreh which quite literally translates to pot in the Arabic language is a fantastic meal hailing from Khalil, Palestine also known as Hebron. This aromatic garlic forward chickpea rice and lamb dish is authentically cooked in a clay pot hence the name. The clay pot along with the method of traditional cooking in a wood-fired oven truly gives this meal outstanding flavor. While we may not have the perfect pot for this dish or the oven; we will use our means to create a delicious qidreh reminiscent of this!
There are layers to this meal to achieve fantastic flavor. I used Filippo Berio’s California Extra Virgin Olive oil to sautee the onions and loads of garlic. It adds such a delicious and fragrant depth to the meal. I also use it to sear the meat initially and offer a slight taste to the broth the rice cooks in as well. Qidreh has lots of warm spices such as turmeric, cumin, 7 spice, and cinnamon which make it such a comforting dish especially in these cooler months. The bone-in lamb pieces cook for over 2 hours for the most optimal melt in your mouth meat. Not only will it be tender to touch but also cooked with the rice after to take on all those flavors. What also sets qidreh apart other than it is garlic forward and its spices is the abundance of chickpeas used in the pilaf as well.
This meal is often made for gatherings amongst friends and family. You can say there is a sense of togetherness when sharing this dish. You will find it as a staple during the holidays like Ramadan and Eid or in the winter to warm you up with its heartiness and flavor profile. It is best eaten topped with lots of toasted slivered almonds and served with a refreshing Arabic Salad on the side along with plain yogurt.
This blogpost is sponsored by Filippo Berio. All opinions are however my own. Thank you Filippo Berio for supporting my blog!
- 12 Cuts of medium-sized lamb (preferably lamb shoulder)
- 2 tbsp Filppo Berio California Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Ground Allspice
- Boiling Water
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Onion, quartered
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 4 Cardamom Pods
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp Filippo Berio California Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 20 Garlic cloves, halved
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp Seven Spice
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed in water and drained
- 15 oz. Chickpea can, drained
- 1/3 cup Toasted Slivered almonds or pine nuts
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- First, rinse the lamb pieces thoroughly under cold water and trim excess fat if necessary. Pat the lamb dry.
- In a large pot, add the olive oil on medium heat allowing for it to warm up. Once oil is hot, add the lamb pieces and sear for 4 minutes each side to achieve a light browning.
- Season with half of the salt, pepper, and allspice from the ingredient list.
- Then, add enough boiling water to cover 2 inches over the lamb. Let this simmer covered for about 30 minutes. If residue rises to the top, spoon it off.
- At this point, add the rest of the seasonings and components on the ingredient list. Allow to simmer for another 1.5 hours on low to medium heat.
- Once the time has passed, check on the tenderness of the meat, Depending on cut and size, it may need more time but should be ready.
- Take out the lamb pieces and through a strainer on top of a bowl; pour the lamb's broth,
- We will use that same broth to cook the rice in for amazing flavor.
- Wipe the same pot used to cook the lamb and add the olive oil along with the onions. Saute until fragrant which is about 5-8 minutes then add the garlic and sautee for another 5 minutes.
- Season with the spices above and add the rice and chickpeas to this as well. Give it a nice stir so everything is evenly coated.
- Take out a majority of the rice and put on a plate to the side. Leave a layer of rice in the pot and top it with half the lamb pieces then add the remaining rice and top with the remaining lamb.
- Add enough broth on top of this to cover the rice 1 inch over. Put a heat proof plate that fits the pot on top of the rice to keep things in place while cooking. Store extra broth in a container in the fridge to use for future purposes.
- Cook the rice covered with a lid for about 20-25 minutes on low to medium heat making sure not to scorch the bottom of the pot. Once the liquid is evaporated and the rice is cooked through turn off the heat. Allow for the rice to stay in the steam for another 5-10 minutes before serving onto a platter of your choice.
- Top with toasted slivered almonds and/or pine nuts in ghee. Enjoy with a refreshing Arabic salad and plain yogurt.