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Persian Lamb Neck - Khoreshte Gardan

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword lamb, lamb neck, Rice, saffron
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 lamb neck (approx. 1 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup slivered pistachios
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 small onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • black pepper
  • salt


  1. Transfer the almonds and pistachios in a bowl and cover them with water to let them soak.
  2. Combine the saffron (ground or strands) with 10 tablespoons of freshly boiled water. Keep the saffron water in a warm place until you use it. I usually keep it near the pan I’m cooking my dish in.

  3. Skin off the onions and garlic cloves.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the lamb neck from each side on high temperature until nicely browned.

  5. Add approx. 2 cups of freshly boiled water to the meat and reduce the temperature to medium.
  6. Add the whole onions, garlic, tomato puree, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, black pepper and a hint of salt.

  7. Put on the lid and let the lamb simmer over low heat for 2.5 to 3 hours. Since the lamb neck isn’t fully covered in water turn it every 30 to 45 minutes. You can add more hot water whenever you feel it is not enough.
  8. Start preparing your rice 45 minutes towards the end.
  9. When the lamb is cooked to perfection, meaning it comes off the bone effortlessly and feels nice and tender, drain the almonds and pistachios. Mix them with half of the saffron water and add them to the lamb stew.
  10. Use the other half of the saffron water to colour the rice.
  11. Serve your lamb with aromatic saffron rice and yogurt, if you like. Enjoy!