Kaleh Pacheh - Lamb head and feet soup with Saffron

An unusual and unique dish that requires proper preparation and cooking, but produces a healthy, nutritious meal filled with wonderful flavours. This healthy soup was consumed in daily life as a hearty meal for physical work amongst traditional Persians and is often consumed by athletes.

Recipe Compliments of  – Chef Behzad Jamshidi

Kaleh Pacheh - Persian Lamb's Head Soup with Saffron

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large pot, soak head and feet in lightly salted cold water overnight.
  2. Drain from the soaking water and cover in clean water. Bring to the boil and then change the water.
  3. In the fresh water add all ingredients with head and feet, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8 hours to become tender. 
  4. Take the head out of the broth and reduce the broth by half.
  5. Meanwhile, clean the head, by taking the tongue out the mouth cavity and peeling the external layer of skin.
  6. Take the cheek meat off the bone of the head, and clean out any excessive white fat that has not melted away.
  7. On a firm surface, bang the back of the head on the opening into the brain cavity to retrieve the brain; you can also peel away part of the skull in order to acquire a larger opening to extract the brain. Lastly, remove the eye balls from their socket, taking out the iris but gently pushing your thumb under it, and pull out the tough vein muscle from the back of the eye.
  8. Add all the cleaned offal and meat back into the reduced broth, and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with fresh bread and lime juice.


  • 1 Lamb Head, cleaned
  • 2 lamb feet, cleaned
  • 2 Large White Onions, Sliced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks, whole
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Turmeric, ground
  • 1 Pinch Saffron, ground (1 sachet)
  • 1 Bouquet Garnish, winter savory or thyme
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Limes, to serve