On Wednesday I made this lovely new recipe from the Persiana cook book that Alberto got me for my birthday. It’s tasty and full of different flavours. Easy to do but it takes some time.
2 onions, roughly diced
600-800g of lamb shoulder or neck, diced
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
2 tablespoons of honey
1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced
2 generous handfuls of pitted prunes
Pre-heat the oven to 200
Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
Add the onions and sauté until they start to brown slightly.
Add the lamb to the pan and brown the meat, stirring all the time.
Add the spices to the pan along with a generous grind of sea salt and stir well to ensure that the meat is thoroughly coated. The stir in the tamarind paste and honey.
Pour in just enough water to cover the meat and bring to the boil.
Once boiled you can either turn the heat down and continue cooking on the hob or, if you have a tagine, transfer the contents of the saucepan to the tagine, place the lid on and cook in the oven for an hour to an hour and a half. Check it occasionally and add more water if required.
After the cooking time has elapsed add the chunks of butternut squash to the tagine and stir in so that they are well mixed with meat and covered with the liquid. You may need to top up the liquid a little. Place back in the oven for another half an hour.
Add the prunes and cook for up to a further half an hour, until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the squash is tender.
Serve with buttery cous-cous and garlic flatbread.