Turmeric is an essential ingredient in this Iranian stew, known as dizi or abgoosht. Named after the stone or metal pot in which it is cooked and served, dizi is eaten in two parts. First the soup is strained and served, then the meat, potatoes and pulses are mashed and eaten with pickles, yoghurt, onion and flatbread.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (54 votes)


  • 180 g (1 cup) dried chickpeas
  • 200 g (1 cup) dried cannellini beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lamb shanks
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 onion, cut into 2 cm wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Persian dried limes (see Note)
  • 6 coriander roots, washed, finely chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • fried onions, flatbread, yoghurt and Persian pickles (see Note), to serve

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.


Soaking time overnight

Place chickpeas and cannellini beans in a large bowl of cold water and leave overnight to soak. Drain well.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper, and cook, turning, for 6 minutes or until browned all over. Add 2 litres water, tomato paste, onion, garlic, turmeric, dried limes and coriander roots. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 2 hours or until lamb is just tender.

Add potatoes, tomatoes, and drained chickpeas and cannellini beans. Cover and cook for a further 40 minutes or until potatoes and pulses are tender, and lamb pulls off the bone easily.

Season, then strain stew through a fine sieve into a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly. Reserve stew and solids.

Shred meat from bones, discarding bones. Place meat in a bowl with the other solids. Mash mixture to a coarse paste. Scatter over fried onions, and serve with the broth, bread, yoghurt and pickles.


• Persian dried limes (also known as black limes) are available from Middle Eastern food shops and spice shops.
• Persian pickles are available from Middle Eastern food shops.



Photography Brett Stevens. Styling Justine Poole.


As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.