Special equipment: a pressure cooker
For the lamb shanks: Place the lamb in a pressure cooker and cover with water by about 2 inches. Add the coriander, garlic, turmeric, plum tomatoes, onions, cilantro and 1 1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper. Cook at 250 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Release the steam in the pressure cooker, then carefully open it and transfer the lamb to a large pot along with about 2 1/2 cups of lamb juice. Reserve the remaining juice for the rice.
Add the canned tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, adding lamb juice as needed so it doesn't dry out.
For the qabili palao rice: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Boil the rice in water until tender, about 10 minutes. Strain and return to the pot.
Mix together the reserved lamb stock, oil and saffron water in a bowl and pour over the rice. Add the Seven-Spice Mixture, cardamom pods and saffron; mix thoroughly. Cover with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
For the rice topping: Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a pan. Add the carrots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the raisins, almonds and pistachios if using, oil, sugar, ground cardamom and saffron; mix well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Place about half of the rice on a platter and arrange the lamb shanks on top. Cover with the remaining rice and top with the carrot mixture.
Mix together the black pepper, black cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander and cumin in a bowl.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Nora Restaurant and Bar, Dallas, TX