Enjoy this exotic Moroccan lamb recipe with the savory infusion of Ceylon Cinnamon, the sweetness of Apricots and the tanginess of Ginger. A blend of the Middle East, Africa and hints of Asia. You can go easy on the Cayenne pepper if hot is not your favorite, but the Ceylon Cinnamon will add a deep rich flavor to this slow cooked lamb stew. Also called Tagine this North African lamb dish is usually cooked in a shallow earthenware cooking pan.
Prep Time : 30 minutes
Cook Time : 1 hour
Serves : 4-6 people
2.5 lbs lamb leg cut into 1 inch square pieces.
Small pieces make it go further.
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
1.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
4 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
1 large finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups low salt chicken broth
15 oz. (1 can) Garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas)
1 cup dried apricots (5 ounces)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoons minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2-3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Mix first 6 ingredients (as listed in PART 1) in a large bowl. Then add the lamb and mix well
- Heat 1 tablespoon of Olive or Coconut oil in a large deep pan over medium-high heat.
Make sure the oil is well heated, which usually takes 5-7 minutes.
- Working in batches, add the lamb to the pan and fry until browned on all sides. You will have to turn it over to make sure all sides are well browned or scorched. Add more oil to the pan between batches if necessary. It takes about 8-10 minutes for each batch to be browned nicely. Remember you need medium high heat to evaporate the moisture in the lamb so it will brown well.
- Transfer lamb to another large bowl after each batch is fried or browned.
- Add two tablespoons of Olive oil, heat for 3 minutes and then add the onions, Ceylon cinnamon sticks and the 1 tablespoons of ginger for saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat, until the onions are soft and slightly brown.
- BROTH - Next add the tomato paste, Garbanzo beans, chicken broth, grated lemon peel, dried Apricots, chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. This takes about 7 minutes usually.
- Once the broth starts bubbling or boiling, add the browned lamb, cover with a lid and cook for one hour. Stir occasionally and add half a cup of water to make it more juicy if necessary.
- Transfer lamb and sauce to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with Rice, Pasta or Bread and ideally with a vegetable dish.
Some people add other vegetables like cut carrots (about 3-4 carrots) and 1./2 cup raisins (for a bit of sweetness) which is great if you want to stretch the stew over a larger crowd or big family.
WHY CEYLON CINNAMON
Unlike ordinary Cassia Cinnamon you find in the stores, Ceylon Cinnamon has low Coumarin
levels, so it won't damage your liver, especially if you are a regular Cinnamon tea drinker. Besides Ceylon Cinnamon is mild, yet slightly sweeter. It's not spicy like store bought Cassia Cinnamon, but has hints of cloves and citrus with wonderful subtle aroma. Ceylon Cinnamon is subtle and adds to create a more complex flavors. You would never know there is Ceylon Cinnamon in this dish, unlike Cassia Cinnamon which tends to be harsh and immediately makes its presence felt and often ruins the recipe.