Egyptian lamb stew with couscous

Lamb tagineServes 4 people

3–4 tbsp of oil
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 leek, sliced
half tsp salt
half tsp yellow turmeric powder
2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1kg leg of lamb, cut into pieces (about 3cm)

3 tomatoes, chopped
half tsp cayenne pepper
half tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme

3­–4 cups of water
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 carrots, cut into thick length-wise chunks
2 courgettes, cut into thick length-wise chunks
1 tin of chickpeas
half tsp of black pepper
1 tbsp tomato purée
500g couscous

Add oil to a hot pan, then add the onion and leek and sauté until the mixture becomes soft. Then add the salt, turmeric, cardamom and meat, and stir over the heat until the onion, spices and meat are well mixed. Place the lid back on the pan and allow the meat to brown for a few more minutes.

Once the meat is browned, add the chopped tomatoes, cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme and stir. Allow the mixture to cook for a few more minutes.

Add the water, and a pinch of salt and pepper to season, and cook for approximately 30 minutes on medium heat. Stir occasionally and add water if the mixture is too dry.

After 30 minutes, add the potatoes, carrots, courgettes, tomato purée and chickpeas, and cook for another 20 minutes or until the lamb is tender. Once the stew is cooked, sit it to one side for an additional 30 minutes without the lid, as this allows the spices and the meat to merge together more.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a pan. Place a steamer directly above the boiling water and add the couscous. Leave for 10 minutes and stir occasionally, adding olive oil, pinch of salt to taste, and continue stirring until the couscous is fluffy and soft.

Serve the stew with the couscous.

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