“Translating from Arabic as ‘hot’, at its heart a skhina is a kind of Moroccan meat stew, traditionally served on the day of the Sabbath after long, slow cooking the night before. A clever way to cook the chickpeas, freekeh, rice and burghul is in muslin bags in the same pan as the meat. The muslin bags keep them separate, but allow the flavours of the meat and saffron cooking liquid to permeate the grains.” Shane Delia, Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey






Skill level

Average: 2.6 (65 votes)


  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 kg lamb osso buco (ask your butcher to cut the lamb shanks for you)
  • 10 pickling onions, peeled with roots intact
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, grated
  • 750 ml (3 cups) saffron water (see Note)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted and halved
  • 200 g (1 cup) dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 12 hours, drained
  • 200 g (1 cup) freekeh
  • 200 g (1 cup) white basmati rice
  • 45 g (¼ cup) burghul
  • 1 large eggplant
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley and coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest grated
  • harissa, to serve


Confit garlic

  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil

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.


You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.

You will need two large pieces of muslin for this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Combine the turmeric, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl, then season the osso buco on both sides. Place the lamb in a large ovenproof casserole and add the onions, carrots, tomatoes, saffron water, olive oil and half the dates. Place the chickpeas in the centre of 1 piece of muslin and tie up with kitchen string to make a bag, leaving some room for them to expand. Place the freekeh, rice and burghul on the remaining piece of muslin bag and secure, leaving room for expansion too. Add to the pan with the lamb, cover tightly with a lid or foil and bake for 2½ hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Meanwhile, place whole eggplant over a gas flame and cook until the skin is charred and blackened and the flesh is soft. Set aside until cool, then remove and discard the skin and cut the flesh into rough chunks.

To make the confit garlic, place the garlic cloves and olive oil in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until soft and caramelised. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Remove the muslin bags from the pan and carefully pour the contents in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggplant, parsley, coriander and the chopped remaining dates. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine, then transfer to a large shallow serving bowl.

Gently pull the meat from the bones in large chunks. Place the meat in a large frying pan with the cooked onions and a ladleful of cooking liquid and bring to the boil. Add the peeled confit garlic cloves, season with salt and lemon zest, then add harissa to taste. Gently spoon the meat, onions and sauce over the grains and serve immediately.



• To make the saffron water, dissolve a pinch of saffron threads and 1 teaspoon of saffron powder in 1 litre of boiling water.


Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey starts Thursday 15 October 2015 at 8pm on SBS and finishes 17 December 2015. Visit the Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey program page to catch up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Shane.