Friday, August 14, 2009

Lamb tagine

I'm always fascinated by how the slightest cooking technique variation makes all the difference from one cuisine to the other. Take this recipe for example, the ingredient list is pretty much what one would use for making lamb curry-- Indian ishhhtyle (style) but browning the meat first and cooking everything else in its fat makes it Moroccon and absolutely phenomenal!
So without much ado...Lamb Tagine!

You will need:

2 lbs of lamb meat (into big chunks if possible)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chilli powder (I like it hot, but reduce to taste)
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 stick of cinnamon (ground)
6 cloves (ground)
6 cardamom pods (ground)
2 medium onions chopped
1 tsp tomato paste
1 can garbanzo beans (optional, but was delicious)
1 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
fistful of raisins (optional)
2 cups of beef stock
1 bunch of cilantro/parsley for garnish
1 tbsp of salt (or more as needed)


Depending on how lean your meat is, heat about 2 tbsp of vegetabl oil on a medium frying pan.

Salt one side of the meat, put that side down into oil. Salt the side that faces up. Flip the meat, browning all sides (I let mine get really really brown, I mean almost burnt brown). Fry the meat in batches. Once all the meat is cooked, add onions to the oil. Add about 1 tsp of salt to help onions soften faster, cook for about 3 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste and all the spice powders. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or till the onions, tomatoes and spices form a brown mass that doesnt stick to the edges. Dump the meat, spice mixture and broth into a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high. 1 hour before the end of the cooking cycle add the garbanzo beans. Garnish with almonds, raisins and cilantro/parsley before eating. Serve with pita bread, basmati rice or couscous.

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