North African Lamb Tagine with chickpeas and apricots
You might want to make a lamb roast for Sunday lunch. For my North African Lamb Tagine, leftovers become the hero of the dish. The sauce is rich and fragrant with sweet peppers and chickpeas. It’s loosely inspired by a classic Moroccan Tagine, reflecting the bold and colourful flavours of Marrakech.
Most of the ingredients are pantry staples. As with most stews and curries, the flavour of this tagine improves when made the day before. An overnight rest does wonders to intensify the flavours. I serve this lamb stew with a currant and herbed couscous salad, Turkish flatbreads and creamy yoghurt. This carrot and cranberry bulgur wheat salad is also rather fabulous with the lamb.
North African lamb tagine with chickpeas and apricots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1/4 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
zest of half a lemon, or preserved lemon, if you prefer an intense hit of salty-sour
2 tablespoons harissa paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
400g left-over, cooked lamb pieces
375ml tomato passata
500ml weak chicken stock
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
50g Turkish apricots, roughly chopped
a spritz of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
handful fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley, roughly torn
Greek yoghurt and pomegranate arils, to serve
Sauté the the onion in the olive oil until soft and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Now add the cumin, coriander, all-spice, chilli, lemon zest, harissa paste and sugar. Dry fry the spices for a minute or two. This will meld and intensify the flavours. Add the lamb pieces and stir to coat in the spice mix. Add the passata, chicken stock, chickpeas and apricots. Place the lid on and simmer for approximately 40-45 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Freshen the flavours up with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with currant and almond bulgur wheat salad and roughly torn coriander or flat leaf parsley, if you prefer. Spoon over some cooling Greek yoghurt and pops of sweet pomegranate arils.
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