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zahra bi'laban
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5 from 8 votes

Zahra Bi'Laban

An ultimate comfort food meal that comprises of roasted cauliflower, tender lamb, and a tangy yogurt sauce. This is typically served with vermicelli rice as a well rounded meal.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Arabic, Palestinian
Keyword: cauliflower and lamb in yogurt sauce, cauliflower in yogurt sauce, zahra bi'laban
Servings: 4
Author: Heifa


Lamb Prep.

  • 3 lbs Lamb Shoulder, cut into 10-12 pieces trim off excess fat
  • 3 Cardamom Pods
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Onion, quartered
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepepr
  • 1 tbsp Allspice Powder

Cauliflower Prep.

  • 1 Large Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil

Yogurt Sauce

  • 32 oz Plain Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 cups Lamb Broth
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • 1 Head of Garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp Olive oil


  • First, rinse the meat thoroughly. Then, add it in a large pot covered in water. Bring to a boil and let this boil for about 15 min. Make sure to clean off the excess residue that will float on the top from the fat of the lamb. Just discard it in a bowl to have a clean and clear broth.
  • Once the broth is cleaned, add the cardamom along with the onion and bay leaves. Also, add the salt, sugar, allspice, and black pepper. Stir together well.
  • Let this simmer on low to medium heat covered with a lid for about 2 hours. Meanwhile, work on cooking the cauliflower.
  • Toss the cauliflower in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin very well.
  • There are a few ways you can cook cauliflower. The most traditional would be to fry the cauliflower until tender and golden which means you wouldn't season it until after frying and olive oil wouldn't be needed. In my recipes, I rarely fry, Instead, I either roast my cauliflower on a baking sheet at 375 F for about 30-40 minutes until tender and golden or air fry at 400 F for 15 min until the same result is achieved. The method you choose is entirely up to you. Once cooked, set aside.
  • Once the meat is cooked through and tender, remove the lamb pieces and set them aside. You will need to reserve the broth for the yogurt sauce and cook the rice with it. So, sift the broth into a bowl and set it to the side. I also like to take the meat off the bone and just use it that way in the yogurt sauce but that is up to you.
  • In a blender, add the plain yogurt along with the lamb broth, corn starch, and salt. Blend all together then add this mixture to a pot. Let it simmer until it starts to bubble and slightly thicken. Once this happens, toss in the cooked cauliflower and lamb pieces. Stir together and let this cook for 15 min so all the flavors come together. Make sure to stir every few minutes on low heat.
  • In the meantime, fry the minced garlic which will top the yogurt. Using a skillet, add the oil and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until golden and fragrant then toss on top of the cooked yogurt. Taste the sauce to see if any salt is necessary and adjust if so.
  • Zahra bi'laban is served with vermicelli rice which I have a recipe for on my blog as well linked above. It can be ladled on top of the rice or adjacent to it or kept in a completely separate bowl. That is entirely up to to you!