Quzi: A Regal Lamb and Rice Delight from the Persian Courts


Prepare to be transported to the opulent courts of ancient Persia with this exquisite Quzi dish, a regal combination of succulent lamb and fragrant rice that has graced the tables of kings and commoners alike for centuries.

Quzi: A Regal Lamb and Rice Delight from the Persian Courts

Preparation Details

  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Number of Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 520
  • Total Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 780mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 34g


  • 2 lbs (900g) boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (200g) basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) olive oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground saffron threads (or 1/2 teaspoon saffron powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (60g) slivered almonds and pistachios, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Marinate the lamb: In a large bowl, combine the cubed lamb, yogurt, ginger, garlic, saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the rice: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and cook for 5-7 minutes until partially cooked. Drain and set aside.
  3. Cook the lamb: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil or ghee over medium-high heat. Add the marinated lamb and its marinade to the pot. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is browned on all sides.
  4. Add the onions: Stir in the chopped onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened and translucent.
  5. Layer the Quzi: Add the partially cooked rice on top of the lamb mixture, creating an even layer. Pour in 1 cup of water or broth and stir gently to combine.
  6. Steam the Quzi: Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, without lifting the lid, until the rice is fully cooked and the flavors have melded.
  7. Finish and serve: Remove the lid and gently fluff the Quzi with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with slivered almonds, pistachios, and lime wedges.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Use high-quality saffron for maximum flavor and aroma.
  • Marinate the lamb for at least 30 minutes to allow the spices to infuse.
  • Be careful not to overcook the rice during the initial boiling stage.
  • Resist the temptation to lift the lid while steaming, as this will release the precious steam and aroma.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a different type of meat?

A: While lamb is traditional, you can substitute with beef or chicken for a variation.

Q: Can I make this dish vegetarian?

A: Yes, simply omit the meat and substitute with chickpeas, lentils, or a mix of roasted vegetables.

Q: How can I adjust the spice level?

A: Increase or decrease the amount of black pepper, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper for more heat.

As you savor each bite of this regal Quzi, let the rich flavors and aromas transport you to the grand halls and lavish feasts of ancient Persia, where every dish was a masterpiece of culinary artistry and cultural heritage.