Omani Shuwa

The unique Omani specialty for which meat is slathered in a thick blend of oil and spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and cooked over hot embers underground.

Ingredients for the spice mix

1 leg of lamb, ( 1 to 2kg with punched holes in a few places)

10 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp ground pepper

1 and half tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander seeds

1 and half tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ground cloves

25-30 dry red chili powdered (adjust the spice level according to your needs)

4 tbsp cooking oil

3 tbsp vinegar

Juice of 1 Lemon.


1. Adjust the amount of dry red chili according to your spice level.

2. Thoroughly combine all ingredients, except lamb leg. Rub the spices on the lamb leg forcing some of the liquids into the punched holes.

3. Wrap the meat using dry banana leaves or palm leaves.

4. Marinate in refrigerator overnight.

5. Place the marinated meat wrapped up in the banana leaf in a roasting pan and cover, then roast in a 250 F pre-heated oven for 3 to 4 hours or until leg is well cooked, basting from pan juices every 30 minutes and turning over once or twice. Uncover and roast at 350 F for 20 minutes, turning over once.

6. If the banana leaf dries off, you could wrap it with aluminum foil.

The traditional Omani way would be by cooking it in a hot glowing coal pit.

You have to burn the wood and coal till it is red hot and once the wrapped up meat is in, just put the sand on it and leave for 10 hours.

By the time the meat parcel is raised out of the ground, the smoky flavours have infused the meat and a nice, crisp crust of spice will have developed on the outside of each piece.

Serve hot with steamed or mildly spiced basmati rice.

Estmtaa Be Wajbatk…

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