This regional recipe is from Urus village in Central Anatolia. It is not an everyday meal, but cooked as a special feast.

Average: 4.5 (3 votes)


2kg leg of lamb, diced
1kg shallots
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
150g fresh long green chillies
1kg vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp dried chillies  
Pinch of black pepper  
1 tbsp dried wild garlic flower
100g butter  
500ml spring water  
150g dried chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
Salt, to season
1kg lamb brisket
600g medium-grain rice

Clay pot (40cm diameter x 10cm)
Clay urn

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


In a large bowl, mix the diced leg of lamb, shallots, garlic, tomato paste, chillies and tomatoes with the dried chilli, pepper and wild garlic flower. Transfer to the clay urn.

Place the clay pot over the mouth of the urn and turn it upside down so that the lip of the urn sits on the base of the clay pot. Cap the hole on the bottom of the urn with a piece of dough. Fill the clay pot with water and chickpeas, adding salt to taste. Place the clay pot on stove top and cook over a medium-low heat for two hours.

Rub salt on lamb brisket and place into the clay pot.

Wash and soak the rice in warm salty water for 30 minutes. Drain the rice and add to the clay pot. Simmer the rice for about 60 minutes, or until it absorbs all the water.

Once rice is cooked, remove the clay pot from the heat, lift the urn and shake it to release the lamb over the rice.

Serve with pickles and ayran, a Turkish yoghurt drink.

Musa Dağdeviren is the proprietor of Çiya restaurants in Istanbul.