lamb harrira

Lamb harrira

The recipe as posted above is from the Two Fat Ladies book, "Full Throttle". It works fine as is, but I tend to make a few modifications.

1) I usually use tinned chickpeas

2) I tend to do the 2nd stage cooking with no lid on the pan to allow the liquid to reduce down to a sort of stew consistency, rather than a soup, while the rice cooks. This also concentrates the flavours nicely.

3) I chop a bit more parsley and stir some of it in, just before the end, scattering the remainder on top.

This dish is an excellent way of using up leftover roast leg of lamb, in which case, I'd suggest reducing the cooking times somewhat to around 40 minutes for the 1st phase and 20 for the second. I even threw in some leftover lamb tikka once too, and that went very well!

This dish isn't hugely spicy but does have a bite, particularly if you up the cayenne content slightly, as I tend to. If spicy's your thing, it also goes very nicely with a good harissa. It's a great comfort food supper dish in the winter, but if you want to lighten it slightly, a crispy salad side goes well too.


115g/4 oz chickpeas
350g lamb, cubed into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
25g/1oz butter
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
900ml-1.2 l/1 1/2 - 2 pints chicken or lamb stock
400g/14 oz chopped tinned tomatoes
55g/2oz long grain rice
pinch of saffron
1 red pepper, skinned, de-seeded and cut into strips
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chopped parsley


Soak the chickpeas overnight, drain and cook rapidly for 10 minutes, then simmer for a further 20 minutes and drain. Fry the onion in oil and butter until translucent, add the cubed lamb and brown evenly. Add the ginger, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, cinammon, salt and pepper to taste and fry for a few minutes.


Transfer to a saucepan in which you have the chicken stock, cover and cook gently for an hour. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, rice, red pepper, saffron and lemon juice, and cook for a further 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

1 comment to this

danadooley said on 24 Mar 2008 at 21:50:35:

Wonderfully exotic and evocative of the sultry east. And I'm sure it would taste absolutely gorgeous as well. Fantastic idea for using up left over lamb.

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posted by moyra on 02 Oct 07 - 10683 views


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