Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 20 mins
This is one of the sweet ceremonial dishes of North Africa. In Tunisia it is usually made with either dates or sharply flavoured, dark, reddish brown apricots and a fair amount of sugar. It is really simple to make, delicious, and fills the house with aromatic smells.
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 red birds eye chilies, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 3 lbs cubed lamb (shoulder or leg)
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- salt and pepper
- 3 medium aubergines, cubed
- 12 ounces dried dates, pitted
- 4 ounces sharp dried apricots
- 8 ounces blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Fry the onions and the chillies in a large saucepan in 3 tablespoons of oil.
- Add the lamb to the onion and turn to brown all over.
- Cover with water and bring to the boil.
- Add cinnamon, allspice, coriander, garlic salt and salt, pepper and sugar.
- Simmer covered for about an hour.
- Meanwhile sprinkle plenty of salt on the aubergines and let them degorge their juices.
- When the meat is very tender, rinse the aubergines and add them to the stew with a little bit of water if necessary.
- After another 20 minutes add the dates and apricots and dates and cook for another 10 - 20 minutes until the aubergines and fruits are soft.
- Fry the almonds in oil until browned and toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying-pan until lightly coloured.
- Serve the stew, sprinkled with almonds and sesame seeds on a large shallow plate.