Lamb stew with dates, tomatoes and chickpeas


Home reader Bettie van Graan adapted this lamb stew recipe from a similar one that appeared in Delicious magazine, Australia.

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tsp (10ml) turmeric
  • 2 tsp (10ml) smoked paprika
  • 1 T (15ml) ground cumin
  • 1kg lamb shanks
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp (5ml) saffron powder (or threads) dissolved in ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 1 cup (250ml) stock
  • 10 pickled onions, peeled
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large brinjals, cubed

For the gremolata

  • ½ cup (125ml) Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) coriander leaves, chopped
  • about 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped (or to taste)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped

1. Make the stew Preheat the oven to 160OC. Mix the turmeric, paprika and cumin with salt and pepper and roll lamb in this mixture. If you have time, you can leave the meat in spices to infuse the flavours for about 1 hour.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the meat. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, fry the brinjal until lightly coloured. Place the brinjal and the meat in a casserole dish and add the onion, tomato, saffron water and dates. Cover with a lid (or with foil) and bake for 2½ hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Remove the casserole from the oven.

3. Make the gremolata Mix the parsley, coriander, chilli, lemon zest and fresh garlic.

4. To serve Sprinkle the gremolata over the stew and serve with couscous or polenta.

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April 2023

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