About this recipe:An aromatic North African-style casserole, richly flavoured with dried fruits and warmly spiced with ginger and cinnamon. The sweetness of the honey tempers the fiery harissa, and chickpeas add a high fibre carbohydrate to the dish.
2 tbsp olive oil
500g lean boneless lamb, cubed
1 onion, chopped
¼ tsp saffron
500ml vegetable stock, hot
1 tbsp tomato purée
zest of 1 orange, cut into strips
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp harissa, or to taste
1 tbsp runny honey
16 baby onions, about 275g in total, peeled
125g ready-to-eat stoned dates
125g ready-to-eat dried apricots
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:2hr › Ready in:2hr30min
Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add the cubes of lamb and fry until lightly browned. Push the meat to one side and add the chopped onion to the pan. Fry for 5–10 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden.
Stir the saffron into the hot stock, then pour into the pan. Add the tomato purée, strips of orange zest and spices. Stir well, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and leave to simmer gently for 1½ hours.
Uncover the pan and take out about a teacup of the sauce. Stir in the harissa and honey, then stir this back into the pan.
Add the baby onions, dates, apricots and chickpeas and stir to mix. Simmer gently, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season to taste and scatter the chopped walnuts over the top, then serve. Put a little extra harissa on the table for those who like more heat.