Friday, May 20, 2011

Moroccan Lamb With Saffron Rice

It was a similar dish that triggered the little Middle Eastern revolution at the tummies'. The culprit came from a  reputable restaurant  and with a price tag of $32 we were expecting a lot more than a few pieces of lamb cubes on a bed of turmeric rice (not the saffron rice stated on the menu). Well dwelling on the past won't get us anyway but a little research and patience will guaranty many happy tummies and that was exactly we I did. I adapted a dish cooked by the "hairy bikers" during their Moroccan road tour (it was done in a tagine) and you will have to try to find out how tasty it is. Like all stews this one tastes a lot better the next day so make a big pot and embrace the cold Melbourne nights.
P.S The cost for this memorable meal enough to feed 6 to 8 was around $30.

serves 6 to 8
for the lamb you'll need;
1.5 kg of lamb dice
2 brown onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 cm knob of ginger, chopped
a few saffron threads, ground
2 tbs of cumin powder
2 tbs of coriander powder
1 tbs of turmeric powder
1 tbs of paprika
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
2 tbs of harissa
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves
1 can of chickpeas, drained
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

for the saffron rice;
2 cups of basmati rice
2 tbs of olive oil
1/4 tsp of ground saffron threads
20 g of butter

Prepare the wet spices.

Put the drained chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Rub a handful of chickpeas at a time between your hands to loosen the skins. Run more water into the bowl and remove the skins that float to the top. Repeat until all skins are removed. Drain and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a pot and brown lamb in batches until golden. Drain and set aside.

Add a little more olive oil to the pot and saute the chopped aromatics. Add in the spices and harissa when the spices are soften and continue to cook for a minute or two on medium heat, be careful not to burn the spices. 

Return the lamb to the pot follow by the chopped tomatoes, stock and herbs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, simmer with the lid on until lamb is very tender (1.5 - 2 hours).

Add chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes, check for seasonings and it is ready to be served.

To cook the saffron rice - Wash rice and drain well in a sieve. Heat the oil in a pan and add the well drained rice, stir to make sure every grain of rice is coated with the oil. Transfer rice to a rice cooker and add enough water (roughly 4 cups) to cover the rice, add saffron and a little salt and press cook. When the rice is done, add in the butter and mix it lightly with a fork.

Ladle some lamb over a bed of saffron rice or couscous  and serve with a tomato, cucumber and onion salad.


  1. dah 2 hari demam tiada selera makan tapi bila lihat menu seperti ini terasa sangat lapar...sedapnya

  2. yum . i am so tempted to try this except that i dont have harisa. I have yet to click on the link...i'll go there now. the dish looks amazing.

  3. Oh yes! looks amazing. Love it.


  4. looks delicious! not everyone has a rice cooker though, some instructions as to how to cook the rice without one would be helpful.

  5. Harriet from carltonMay 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    I love it already! I would expect more from a $35 meal too!

  6. I am having my family over for dinner and this seems like the perfect dish to impress them with!


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