• olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500g lamb, diced
  • a pinch saffron, mixed with 2 tbsp warm water
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • with a metal skewer or corkscrew dried limes
  • 100g split yellow peas, rinsed in cold water
  • 1 aubergine
  • to serve  cooked rice
  • chopped to serve flat-leaf parsley


  • STEP 1

    Use 2 tbsp of olive oil to fry the onions in a casserole dish on a medium heat. When they are soft, add the garlic, stir and continue to cook until the garlic and onions are pale gold. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Put the lamb in the pan, turn up the heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is brown. Return the onion mixture to the pan, and stir in the saffron, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring.

  • STEP 3

    Add the tomatoes and the purée. Fill the tomato tin with water and add to the pan with the limes. Cover the pan and simmer, for 45 minutes.

  • STEP 4

    Stir in the split yellow peas and continue to simmer, covered, for 45-60 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. If it seems to dry up, add a splash of water. While it’s cooking, slice the aubergine and cut it widthwise into ½cm rounds. Fry these in oil until they are golden and cooked, then put them on a plate layered with kitchen roll to absorb the grease.

  • STEP 5

    When the casserole is cooked and the sauce has thickened, remove the limes and check the seasoning. Serve with rice studded with little chunks of cold butter and topped with the aubergine strips. Scatter with parsley to serve.

    To find out what wine to drink with Middle Eastern lamb, click here


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