Jelbana bel Lham ~ north African stew (tagine) of sweet green peas with meat (in this case lamb) carrot and potatoes.
In my opinion there’s never a bad time to cook and eat a flavoursome stew or indeed any one pot meal for that matter. This blog is full of soup and stews and as we are officially in autumn then you too have the perfect excuse to enjoy heartier meals, yes even when the sun is still shining brightly!
I cooked this dish on the second day of Eid last week and it was well received by my husband. My kids however, are still avoiding all things green unless we are talking play doh or mint chocolate chip ice cream. I’m slowly working on getting my children to #eatarainbow of coloured fruit and vegetables, we even bought a nutri-bullet to help. Shame it can’t disguise the colour of spinach as well as it hides the texture and the flavour. Do you have a great personalised ‘nutri blast’ recipe? please be so kind as to share it with me here in the comments section or drop me an email.
My recipe is lightly adapted from my Jelbana wa Djaj – Pea and Chicken stew , the obvious change being the meat, I used lamb shoulder. You can change this for mutton or even beef stewing steak if you like a richer meatier flavour but bear in mind these meats generally take longer to cook to become tender therefore, you will have to adjust the cooking time and the amount of water accordingly.
You get a lovely sweetness from the green peas (frozen), carrots and fresh tomatoes in the sauce which marry so well with lamb. Potatoes amp up the carbs and who doesn’t love meat and potatoes? The spicing is intentionally light and delicate as you want the veggies as the main attraction here.
Lots of you may not be able to buy Ras El Hanout – the north African ‘head of the shop’ spice blend, so alternatively you may use any other spice blend you have.
Next time I must remember to 1. Iron 2. Serve my stew in a bowl, it looks way more attractive.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1lb or 450g halal lamb shoulder pieces, on the bone
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- fine sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 2 carrots, thickly sliced
- 300g frozen green peas
- 2 medium tomatoes, grated
- 1 litre water
- 1 medium potato, cut into eighths
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm up the oil, add lamb and brown on all sides, this step should take between 5 and 10 minutes.
- Leave the lamb in the pot and add in the onion and garlic, reduce the heat a little if needed and sauté until the onion has softened about 5 minutes, stirring often. At this stage if you see any meat sticking to the pan add in a splash of water and scrape it up, this brings added flavour to the dish.
- Once the onion has softened add in the spices, seasoning and tomato purée and sauté again for a minute or two. Add the carrots, peas, fresh tomato, cover with water. Increase the heat to a simmer then cover and reduce heat to maintain simmer. Allow to cook for 1 hour until the meat is softer then add in the potato and allow to cook for a further 20-30 minutes until the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Serve warm.
All timings are approximate.