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Khorak - Persian Lamb Stew

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword carrots, chips, fries, green beans, Khorak, lamb, lamb stew
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Author Hami


  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 1/2 cups green beans
  • 2 large potatoes (for the french fries)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/8 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups water (add more if necessary)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt


Prepare the chips/fries (this step is optional, if you want to make perfectly crispy chips/fries)

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm/0.4″ thick chips/fries. Cut off a slice of the potato, so it has a flat surface and you can securely place it on the chopping board. When you cut the other slices, the potato won’t wobble, making life easier for you.

  2. Rinse the potato chips with water. This washes off some of the starch, which helps make them more crispy.

  3. Boil a pan of water and cook the chips for 5 minutes in the boiling water.

  4. Drain them in a colander and rinse them with cold water, so they stop softening further.

  5. Once cooled down, put them in a freezer bag and freeze them for 2 hours.

Fry the lamb

  1. Fry the lamb shanks in 5 tbsp of vegetable oil until they are brown on each side. Once nicely browned, remove them from the pan and set them aside, leaving the oil in the pan.

Make the sauce for the stew

  1. Finely chop the onion (Wanna know how to chop onions like a pro? Take a look at my quick video tutorial)

  2. Transfer the chopped onion to the frying pan with the oil from the lamb shanks and gently fry them.

  3. In the meantime skin off the garlic cloves and finely chop them. Once the onions have been frying for about 5 minutes, add the chopped garlic and let them gently fry together for another 5 minutes.

  4. Add the tomato puree/paste and fry it with the onions and garlic for a few minutes.

  5. Season with the turmeric, paprika, black pepper and salt.

  6. Add the water, combine everything well and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

  7. Transfer the lamb shanks and cinnamon stick into a shallow pan (with a lid) and pour the sauce over it. Put on the lid and let it simmer over low heat.

Prepare the veg

  1. Wash the green beans, cut off both ends and chop them into 2.5cm/1″ long pieces. Fry them for 5 minutes in 2 tbsp vegetable oil, then remove them from the pan and set them aside.

  2. Wash the green beans, cut off both ends and chop them into 2.5cm/1″ long pieces. Fry them for 5 minutes in 2 tbsp vegetable oil, then remove them from the pan and set them aside.

  3. Cut the carrots in about 5cm/2″ long Julienne size pieces. Fry them for about 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.

Add the finishing touches and fry the chips/fries

  1. After the meat has been simmering for about 2h 30 min, add the carrots.

  2. Put the lid back on and let it simmer another 15 minutes, then add the green beans.

  3. After another 5 minutes when the meat is so tender, it almost falls off the bone, your Khorak will be ready. 

  4. Take the chips/fries out of the freezer and deep fry them in plenty of hot vegetable oil over high temperature. If you have a cooking thermometer, 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F is the perfect temperature. Carefully lower the chips into the pan with a slotted spoon, so you don't burn yourself with hot oil spatters. Fry them for 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown.

  5. Remove them from the hot oil and put them on a plate with two paper towels, so the excess oil can be absorbed. Season with salt to your liking.

  6. Serve this Persian lamb stew with the chips/fries and flat bread. My favourite is Persian noon sangak, but feel free to use any kind you like. Enjoy!