Halal Cart Lamb Over Rice

15 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour
4
New York’s iconic halal cart lamb over spicy rice but at home and even better! It’s packed with so much flavor from the shawarma seasoning blend that pairs perfectly with the fluffy spicy rice. It all gets showered in the white garlic sauce for the most delicious bowl!
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Halal Cart Lamb Over Rice

New York’s iconic halal cart lamb over spicy rice but at home and even better! It’s packed with so much flavor from the shawarma seasoning blend that pairs perfectly with the fluffy spicy rice. It all gets showered in the white garlic sauce for the most delicious bowl!

The White Sauce

There is nothing more synonymous with halal cart bowls than the white sauce they drown the meat and rice in! It’s actually super easy to make at home in less than 5 minutes and in a blender. Here are all the ingredients you need:

  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream or plain yogurt
  • garlic cloves
  • sugar
  • lemon juice
  • black pepper

Add all the ingredients above to a blender or food processor and combine until completely smooth and you have a thick sauce with specks of black pepper everywhere. Feel free to add as little or as much garlic as you’d like depending on your taste.

If you want to make this lighter, you can swap the sour cream for plain yogurt or use light mayo.

NOTE: Another variation of white sauce that I love to make is using the garlic spread from Trader Joe’s which is basically just toum. I combine toum with mayo or yogurt and add a bit more lemon juice, sugar, black pepper, and a bit of water to thin it out and there you have it!

Making the Spicy Rice

The difference between this recipe and the halal cart chicken bowl is the rice! I like to pair the chicken with the cumin-flavored yellow rice while I like to pair the lamb with spicy orange/red rice and a hint of Indian spices. The rice turns out so fluffy and flavorful and here’s how you can make it!

Start by soaking some rice in cold water for 30 minutes. I like to use parboiled rice but feel free to use regular basmati rice as well.

Once the rice is soaked, rinse it with water for about 1 minute to remove any excess starch. The water will appear cloudy as first and then start to turn clear.

To a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil, butter, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook down the tomato paste for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and deeper in color. Then add the rice and saute for another 2 to3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and season with salt, cumin, coriander, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garam masala, cayenne/red chili flakes, oregano, and turmeric. Mix together and once the broth is boiling, lower the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat but leave covered for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork and there you have the perfect spicy rice!

Lamb Shawarma

Now that the sauce and rice is made, let’s work on the lamb! I like to prep the sauce and rice first because the sauce can be kept in the fridge and the rice can easily be reheated when it’s time to serve. This lamb shawarma marinade could not be more flavorful truly. It’s packed with so many warm spices and nothing short of flavor. It’s easy to make, can be meal prepped ahead of time, and it makes for a healthy balanced meal when served with rice or salad!

Here is everything you need:

  • lamb, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • allspice
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • sumac
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • turmeric
  • coriander

Add the lamb to a bowl with all the ingredients listed above. Mix together to marinade evenly. You can cook it immediately or let it marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes. The longer the better, you could even let it sit overnight. If you want to marinade it far in advance, you can also do that and freeze it in a large ziploc bag. Then just thaw it in the fridge overnight to make the next day!

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss in the marinated lamb. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes and continuously stir around until it’s browned all around, about 8 to 9 minutes total. Take off the heat and then it’s time to serve.

NOTE: You can also make this with beef or chicken using the same measurements!

Assembly

Rice is made! The lamb is cooked to perfection. The sauce is extra creamy! Now it’s time to assemble. Start by adding spicy rice and then top it off with the lamb shawarma. Add shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Some other veggies you can opt for are cucumbers or red onions. Drizzle on white sauce, hot sauce, and BBQ if you’d like. Serve with toasted pita to enjoy!

Craving More Rice Bowls? Try These Recipes Out!

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Lamb Halal Cart Bowls

New York’s iconic halal cart lamb over spicy rice but at home and even better! It’s packed with so much flavor from the shawarma seasoning blend that pairs perfectly with the fluffy spicy rice. It all gets showered in the white garlic sauce for the most delicious bowl!

New York’s iconic halal cart lamb over spicy rice but at home and even better! It’s packed with so much flavor from the shawarma seasoning blend that pairs perfectly with the fluffy spicy rice. It all gets showered in the white garlic sauce for the most delicious bowl!

15 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour
4

Ingredients

LAMB SHAWARMA
  • 1 pound lamb, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
WHITE SAUCE
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
SPICY RICE
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups jasmine or basmati rice, rinsed well 
  • 3 cups chicken broth 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne powder or red chili flakes, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
FOR ASSEMBLY
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • barbecue sauce, optional
  • hot sauce/sriracha
  • pita

Instructions

MAKE THE WHITE SAUCE
  1. To a blender or food processor, add the mayo, sour cream or yogurt, garlic, sugar, lemon juice, and black pepper.
  2. Blend together until completely smooth and set aside.
MAKE THE SPICY RICE
  1. Soak rice in water in a bowl for 30 minutes and then drain.
  2. Wash rice for 2 minutes with cold water or until the water runs clear.
  3. To a pot over medium heat, add the butter, olive oil, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook down for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the rice and toast it for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken broth, chili powder, salt, cumin, coriander, garam masala, paprika, cayenne or red chili flakes, black pepper, oregano, onion powder, and turmeric. Mix together and bring to a boil.
  6. Then lower the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat but leave covered for 10 minutes to steam the rice.
  7. Take off the lid and fluff with a fork.
MAKE THE LAMB SHAWARMA
  1. To a large bowl, add the chopped lamb, olive oil, allspice, coriander, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, sumac, black pepper, and turmeric. Mix to marinade evenly. For more flavor, you can let it marinade for 30 minutes or even overnight in the fridge.
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a cast iron skillet or pan over high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring around a few times so the meat evenly browns.
  3. Once cooked all the way through, take off the heat.
ASSEMBLE BOWLS
  1. Add rice to the base of the bowl and top with lettuce, tomatoes, lamb, and a few pieces of pita.
  2. Drizzle white sauce and hot sauce on top. Optional, add a drizzle of bbq sauce for some sweetness to enjoy!
 
5 based on 3 reviews

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Rate + Review

I made the spicy rice portion of the recipe and it’s so good! With two cups of rice, it yields more than 4 servings, but I’m not complaining. Tasty recipe and easy to follow.

Loved this recipe was delicious! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.Thank you so much sis!

I made the recipe for iftaar and it was brilliant. The rice was definitely the star of the meal. I’m excited to repeat the recipe using Bulgur Wheat, I know it’s going to turn out amazing

This was so much fun to make. I doubled all the quantities (except for the sauce) to have lots of leftovers. I also used about a quarter of the spicy ingredients listed and it was still spicy to me! Thanks for sharing this great recipe, I am planning to make the chicken version next.

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