Za'atar Lamb, Braised Vegetables & Chickpeas - North African

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Recipe by Um Safia

Here is a very tasty dish with all the North African flavours. There are a lot of ingredients but it easy to make. You can serve it elegantly plated up or more rustic style in a large round communal dish! If you have your own Za'atar mix then leave out ingredients from sumac to marjoram. Time to make doesn't include overnight soaking of chickpeas or the resting times of the lamb. This is also perfect for Iftar when you have special guests during Ramadan!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place chickpeas in a large bowl of cold water and soak overnight. Rinse and drain.
  2. Cook the chickpeas and bay leaf in boiling water until just tender. Rinse and drain well.
  3. Place the lamb, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, sumac, sesame, dried herbs and paprika in a large ziploc bag and close. Massage the rub into the meat for 4-5 minutes before refrigerating for at 45 minutes (or a little longer).
  4. Place all the dressing ingredients in a screw top jar, close it, then shake well and set aside.
  5. Heat butter and remaining olive oil in a large frying pan / skillet. Cook the onions for around 10 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. Add the carrot, celery and fennel then cook until veggies and just tender - stir well to avoid burning or sticking!
  6. Cook the lamb in batches on a hot, well oiled grill plate, until browned and cooked how you like it. Cover and let rest for 5 or so minutes before carving into generous slices.
  7. Just before serving, combine the chickpeas, parsley and 1/2 the dressing with the veggies, cook until heated through (stirring well).
  8. Divide salad between 4 plates, place sliced lamb on top and drizzle with remaining dressing.

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