Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Azerbaijian tradition states that this dish be served as an accompaniment to Plov (or Pilaf). I recommend serving with Arminyan Plov (Armenian Pilaf) Arminyan Plov (Armenian Pilaf), Azerbaijani Plov (Azerbaijanian Pilaf) Azerbaijani Plov (Azerbaijanian Pilaf), or Kazaki Oreshki Plov (Kazaki Nut Pilaf) Kazaki Oreshki Plov (Kazaki Nut Pilaf). If you were offering this to guests you would have several accompaniments along with the main dish of plov. Plov is what we call pilaf, a dish associated with the Middle East, put popular in Russia and former Soviet Central Asia as well. It originates with the Mongols and the Chinese and spread along the Silk Road to the West. One western version is paella from Spain.
- 1⁄3 ounce saffron (5 strands)
- 2 1⁄4 lbs lamb
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- 2⁄3 cup clarified butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 ounces fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 5 ounces fresh dill, finely chopped
- 5 ounces fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 5 ounces scallions, finely chopped
- 3⁄4 cup plain yogurt
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
- Mix yogurt and garlic. Allow to chill.
- Soak the saffron in 7 tbsp lukewarm water for 3 hours.
- Roughly dice the meat, season with salt and pepper, and fry in 3 1/2 tbsp clarified butter. Sauté the onions in 1 tsp clarified butter and add to the meat along with the saffron water and lemon juice. Add 3/4 cup regular water and simmer over medium heat.
- After cooking for 30 minutes, add the vegetables and herbs, cover well and continue cooking over medium heat. for a further 20 minutes until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the rest of the clarified butter, stir well and pull off of heat and allow to sit covered for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with garlic yogurt.