This heart-warming stew was all what I could think of at the gym today. It was almost noon when I started exercising, and I didn’t expect to finish before another hour. It wasn’t only freezing outside, but my kitchen was also “cold” with a piece of lamb thawing in a colander.
As soon as I arrived home, I started cooking my favourite yakhne. Prepared the same way like all Lebanese stews with lamb or beef and a choice of vegetables, this stew gains a deep, earthy, and yet bright flavour through the addition of curry powder to the tomato sauce. I find that the savoury and sweet taste of curry brilliantly combines with peas and carrots. That’s one reason for a bag of frozen peas being constantly available in my freezer. Today I didn’t even have to run to the supermarket to buy any carrots. I was lucky to have frozen a few bags of carrot cubes I had prepared myself for times like these.
Yakhnet Bazella w Jazar - Lamb Stew with peas and carrots
Yield 6 servings
- 50 ml sunflower oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 10 small garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 500 g meat from a leg of lamb or from the shoulder, cut into 4 cm cubes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ litre hot water
- 500 g frozen peas
- 250 g carrots, peeled and cubed
- 500 ml tomato sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons curry
- 2 heaped tablespoonful tomato paste
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until wilted and golden, stirring constantly. Add the meat and cinnamon and brown for about 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Then add the hot water, put the lid on, and following the manufacturer’s instructions, cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
- Combine the frozen vegetables, tomato sauce, tomato paste and spices in a large pot. Carefully open the pressure cooker and pour out the meat with the cooking liquid over the peas and the carrots.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through.
- Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens. Serve hot with ruz mfallfal.
All images and text © Dina Bayoud Kohl for Dina’s Kitchen
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