After The Spicery and The Laughing Lemmon, now is the turn of the Hairy Dieters. Again, the same basic ingredients: lamb, spices and fruits. But, it also had chickpeas and tinned tomatoes. And it was sweet. Very sweet… probably one spoon of honey too much for my taste buds. All in all, it was delicious and filling. In fact, a lot more heavy than the other version even though it had much less fat. Don’t take me wrong – it was delicious. It is the comparison with the Laughing Lemnon’s which it makes it sound like a bit pedestrian.
Lamb tajine (adapted from Dave Myers and Si King’s The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight)
- 750gm lamb shoulder
- 2tsp ground cumin
- 2tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1tsp hot chilli powder
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 medium onions halved and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 400gm can chopped tomatoes
- 400mls cold water
- 3tbsp runny honey
- 400g tin of chick peas drained and rinsed
- 1 lamb stock cube
- 75gm no soak apricots,halved
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the lamb of any hard fat and cut into rough 3cm chunks, season all over with salt and pepper.
Mix the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chilli in a bowl.
Heat oil in the tajine until is piping hot. Add the lamb, onions and garlic and stir fry over a high heat for 1 minute until lightly coloured.
Sprinkle with the spices and cook for 1-2 mins more, tossing constantly until you have a fragrant aroma. Tip the tomatoes into the casserole dish, together with the cold water, honey and chickpeas. Add the stock cube over the top and stir well.
Bring to a simmer, stirring couple of times. Cover with the lid and let cook with low heat for 60min. Open the lid and drop in the dried fruits and still well. Put back the lid and let it cook for another hour, or until the lamb is tender.
You may remember from a few posts ago a mention to Laughing Lemon’s Moroccan Feast, a tajine and The Spicery’s lamb with apricots and almonds. It was not my intention by then to start a cook off, but as I tried different recipes comparisons become inevitable.
This one is the Laughing Lemon’s take on it, probably as close as it can get from his Mother’s recipe. The ingredients are almost the same ones that The Spicery’s: lamb, honey, almonds, apricots, prunes. However, there are no tomatoes on this dish. As it turned out, it was a such sweeter and its flavours, more delicate and balanced. Probably, this take has much less spin to the original dish.
PS Please don’t say Jack I made the couscous following the instructions on the pack (plus pomegranate, mint and lemon juice).
What started with a Laughing Lemon’s cooking lesson ended up with K. and B. giving me a tajine, which eventually became very handy to try the January kit of The Spicery: a lovely lamb tajine with apricots and almonds. The Spicery – do not confuse with spice rack – is the word for the place where spices are made or stored. It is also an online shop which sells freshly ground and blended spices – really top-notch stuff. Or, puts together kits and sends them together with their recipes. I have to say I was bit skeptical when I heard about his. After 5 munches into this lamb tajine, I had to agree this was one of the best ones have ever had. If you want to try, the recipe is here. To make it work, you will really need the spices…