Saturday, 17 November 2012

Lamb Machbous

This lovely fragrant lamb dish is a recipe I have acquired from my father in law. He cooked it for us for dinner recently after discovering the dish on an Emirates flight. It's a traditional dish from Bahrain. He researched the recipe when he returned home and gave it to me. I cooked it a day in advance for a dinner party with friends last night. Leaving it overnight and reheating on the evening gave all the wonderful flavours a chance to develop. It also meant I didn't have a lot to do once the guests arrived. The dish is somewhere between a mild curry and a tagine. I served this with roast sweet potatoes (see below) and basmati rice. 

Serves 4 - 6

1 tsp ground black pepper
¾ tsp ground coriander
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
5 cardamon pods (remove the shells and ground up the seeds)
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1½ tsp paprika
1 kg lamb (bought as chunks or shoulder cut into bite size chunks)
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
2 tins of canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
½ tsp grated lime peel
½ tsp ground turmeric

Mix the black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamon, nutmeg and paprika and set aside.
Salt the lamb. Saute it with the onions on the oil, until the lamb is brown and the onions are golden brown. Add the prepared spice mixture, the tomatoes, the parsley, the lime peel and the turmeric. Mix well, bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for an hour, adding water as necessary to keep it moist. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Tastes best if done the day before and then simmered for another hour before serving.
Serve with basmati rice (saffron optional) and roast sweet potatoes. Cube the potatoes, toss with oil, cayenne pepper, allspice, a tsp of brown sugar and salt in a freezer bag, then roast for 20 mins at 220 degC or until dark brown.

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