Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Add 1 tbsp oil to a small, tight-lidded casserole and brown shanks for a couple of mins, turning as you go. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining oil and onions to the pan and cook for about 10 mins until soft. Add garlic and spices and cook for 4 mins more. Tip in tomatoes and stock, then nestle the shanks back in on their sides. Bring to a boil, cover and put in the oven. Cook for 2 hrs: turn the shanks now and then.
Remove the lid and stir through the molasses, apricots and figs. Cook, uncovered, for 30 mins more or until the meat is falling away from the bone.
Remove shanks from the dish and wrap in foil to keep warm. Put the dish back onto the heat and cook down the juices until thick and saucy. Season, then serve the shanks, scattered with coriander, alongside the rice (see 'Goes well with', right).