This simple stove-top lamb stew is a great dish for spring. The warmth of the spices is tempered by the sweetness of the honey and prunes.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 kg lamb shoulder or leg, deboned and cut into 6cm chunks
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted and finely ground with a mortar and pestle
- 2 cinnamon quills, broken in half
- 4 cardamom pods, bruised
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 prunes, pitted and halved
- 3 tsp honey, or to taste
- Coriander, pomegranate seeds and roasted slivered almonds, to serve
- Thick yoghurt (optional), to serve
- 1Heat oil in a casserole over high heat, then add lamb, in batches, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over (3-5 minutes). Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- 2Add onion to casserole and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to turn golden (6-8 minutes). Add spices and garlic, and stir until fragrant (1 minute).
- 3Return lamb to casserole with remaining ingredients, except prunes, and 400ml water, or enough to just cover. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, and adding prunes in the last 30 minutes of cooking, until lamb is tender (1½-2 hours).
- 4Remove lamb and prunes from casserole and set aside in a bowl. Increase heat to medium and reduce cooking liquid to a thin sauce (15-20 minutes).
- 5Return lamb and prunes to the sauce and serve topped with coriander, pomegranate, almonds and yoghurt.