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Slow-cooked spiced lamb with prunes

A simple stove-top lamb stew, with the warmth of the spices tempered by the sweetness of the honey and prunes.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
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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


  • 1
    Heat 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.
  • 2
    Add 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).
  • 3
    Return 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).
  • 4
    Remove 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).
  • 5
    Return lamb and prunes to the sauce and serve topped with coriander, pomegranate, almonds and yoghurt.
  • undefined: Lisa Featherby