POMEGRANATE LAMB

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2.5 cm (1 in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 kg (2 lb) lean lamb such as shoulder or leg, cubed

salt

freshly ground black pepper

juice of 2 pomegranates, about 300 ml (10 fl oz / 1 cups)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

teaspoon ground cinnamon

teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

85 ml (3 fl oz) Greek yoghurt

pomegranate seeds, to garnish

chopped fresh mint, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, brown the lamb, in batches, and set aside. Return the onion, garlic, ginger and lamb to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Gradually stir in the pomegranate juice, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. There should be very little liquid left.

Add the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the yoghurt. Cover the pan tightly and cook very gently, preferably on a heat diffuser, for 30 - 40 minutes until the lamb is tender. Check from time to time that the meat is not sticking and drying out too much. Add a little water, if necessary. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped mint, and serve with rice.

Serves 4 - 6.

area : North Africa

course : meat dish

source : The Book of North African Cooking / Lesley Mackley