The United Arab Emirates – Lamb Quzi

by Adelina Aida

Quzi is an Arabic dish made up of rice and lamb but in a unique way. Its serving and cooking are very unique and different from the rice dishes made up of lamb. This dish is authentically made up of lamb but nowadays, this dish can be cooked from meat like chicken and beef, also with seafood but rare in UAE. The vegetable version of QUZI is also served and cooked not even in UAE, but outside of the region.

This dish is actually a lamb dish when lamb cooked with some vegetables and nuts on low heat and slow cooking. This cooked tendered meat serve it over the rice and garnish with boiled eggs and some crispy onions etc. The whole cooked rice is served on a large tray and then covered with cooked lamb. On top add some onions, lemons, boiled eggs, fried eggs, potatoes, and anything that complement the dish.

Naming of the dish

The name of this dish came from the Turkish Language. The word Quzi in Arabic and KUZU in Turkish. Both words have the same meaning in English; Lamb.

This dish is a lamb dish and from the Turkish language the word KUZU came up into Arabic language with same meaning.

Following are different names of this dish :

  • Quzi
  • Qoozi
  • Kuzi
  • Koozi
  • Ghoozi etc

This dish has many regional variations according to the world’s different cultures. There are the following regions where this dish is included as the national cuisine :

  • Saudia Arabia
  • Iraq
  • Persian
  • Yemen
  • Oman
  • Jordan
  • Syria etc

Variations of this dish

This dish has different variations and regional evolution according to the culture and taste.

Iraqi Quzi

Iraqi quzi is a dish of having the same ingredients but little difference in the cooking procedure. In this version, lamb with rice and spices, nuts, some broth is cooked on slow heat. and then this mixture is unanimously mixed and served on a large platter.

Middle east

The Middle east version of this dish has the same cooking method but having different use of spices like star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. In this dish, burning coal or charcoal is used to gives a smoky flavor to the recipe and this is the unique specialty of the dish.


In Saudia Arabia and Yemen, this dish is known as Madfoon. In this dish, lamb is marinated and wrapped into foil for grilling or baking and then served it over rice.


In Oman and UAE, this type of marinated lamb is wrapped into Palm leaves. The taste and juiciness of the leaves infused to meat and than cooked on low heat. This lamb is very juicy and tendered.


In Jordan and Syria, word Zarb is sued in making the dish like this. In zarb, lamb is served in small pieces ona big fat lamb meat.


Haneeth is a dish of old Middle east, when clay pots are used in making this dish.

Quzi is a dish of lamb in which lamb is so tendered and cooked that it may fall off the bones.


For Meat

  • Lamb meat = 1 lbs
  • Salt = 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper black = 1 teaspoons
  • Oil = 4 tablespoons
  • Garlic chopped = 4 cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks = 1
  • Cloves = 2
  • Bay leaves = 1
  • Lemon slices = 5 to 6
  • Basil leaves = 2

For Rice

  • Rice = 2 lbs
  • Onions = 1 chopped
  • Salt = 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin seeds = 2 tablespoons
  • Green Cardamom = 4
  • Black cardamon = 2
  • Black peppercones = 2 tablespoons
  • Meat broth = 4 cups


  • Carrots chopped = 1
  • Boiled potatoes = 2
  • Peas = 1/2 cup
  • Corns = 1/2 cup
  • Onions chopped = 1/2 cup


  • Raisins = 4 tablespoons
  • Almonds = 4 tablespoons
  • Coconut = 2 tablespoons
  • Pistachio = 4 tablespoons

For Garnishing

  • Hard boil eggs = 2
  • Fried Onions = 4 tablespoons
  • Mint leaves = 2 tablespoons
  • Green chilies = 4 tablespoons
  • Coriander leaves = 2 tablespoons

Cooking method

For meat

  • Take lamb pieces and marinate it with all the spices, oil, dried whole spices and garlic.
  • Now we have two cooking methods to cook this dish ; grilling or low heating.
  • On low heating, just add this marinated lamb in a cooking pot and put it on low flame for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Juice of meat infused with spices and the steam cooked the meat properly on low heat without burning.
  • If you want to grill, wrap the marinated lamb in aluminum foil and cooked it in the oven at 80 degrees celcius for 1 hour to 1 and half hours.
  • Now you can see after cooking lamb, lamb meat is fully tendered and juicy.


  • Take chopped onions and oil in a cooking pot, and start it to cook.
  • Now after some softness of the onions, add broth into it with all the spices and salt.
  • Bring it to boil, after that add soaked rice and all the vegetables into this rice mixture.
  • Wait for water to evaporates, till than half of the rice cooked wih vegetables.
  • Now after that, cook the rice on low heat with covered lid for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, rice and vegetables cooked and ready to serve.


For serving first we have to roast the nuts with 1 teaspoon of oil and boils the eggs.

1.Nuts Roasting

For nuts roasting, we have to take pan with oil into it. Now add all the nuts you like to serve and fry it on medium heat. It gives crunchiness to the nuts and some roasted flavors.

2.Fried Onions

Take 2 onions, deep fry them in oil until they get dark brown and crispy. Let onions to cool down so they maintain the crispiness. Brown crispy onions are ready to serve on.

3.Boiled eggs

Take 2 eggs and har boil them. Then cut into slices and serve on top.

Cuisine : Emirati cuisine

Course : whole meal

Taste :Rich, salty

Serving : on large platter

Yield : 4 to 6 person

Temperature : hot

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