A family favourite

This recipe below is my favourite one for lamb and aubergine Tajine. I cook it very often as my family love it, and I have many a times served it for guests who also loved it and went home with the recipe. So I thought to share it here with you so you too can please your family and guests this Ramadan. I had adapted this recipe to cook in a regular pot in case you do not own a tajine pot (if you do then carry out the cooking in a tagine pot instead. You will have to carry out each step separately as below, then place all to cook together in the tajine pot.)

Here is how it’s made….

TIP – For a healthier version of this Tajine, you can grill the eggplants instead of frying them. Simply brush the sliced aubergines with oil and grill them until golden brown. You can also, go for lean lamb meat, with all visible fat trimmed off.

Ingredients

Serves: 4
  • 625g aubergines, sliced into 1.5 cm thick disks
  • 500g boned lamb, shoulder or leg, cut into 4-8 equally sized pieces
  • 1 Kg tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 200 ml water, (might require a little extra)
  • 2 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Slice the aubergines and salt them all over. Place these in a sieve over a bowl and leave to drain for 30 minutes. This will get rid of any bitterness in the eggplants.

Meanwhile, rub the lamb pieces with ½ tsp salt. In a medium pan saute the meat with 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and stir for about 1 minute. Add the saffron, ginger, and ground coriander and stir well to coat. Add 200 ml of water and stir scraping the bottom. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is very tender. (Check the water level frequently, you may have to add some hot water if needed)

In the meantime, place ½ tbsp olive oil in the frying pan together with the crushed garlic, cook stirring over medium heat until the garlic is translucent but not browned. Add the chopped tomatoes, and stir to incorporate with the oil and garlic. Simmer, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the paprika, stir to incorporate, continue simmering, while occasionally stirring, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, ½ tbsp olive oil, chopped parsley, chopped coriander, and honey, mix well. Leave to simmer, until the mixture reaches a thick consistency.

Thoroughly rinse the salted aubergines, gently squeeze out the excess water and dry the slices between kitchen towels. Heat some oil (shallow) in a frying pan, until hot but not smoking. Fry the aubergine on both sides until golden brown. Remove from oil, and drain over several folds of kitchen towels. Leave to cool to room temperature. Drizzle the fried aubergines with lemon juice, and mash slightly with a fork to incorporate the juice.

In a tagine pot or a dutch oven, place the slightly mashed aubergines on the meat, top with the tomato mixture, cover and simmer for 20 minutes for all the flavours to marry. Shake the pot often, but do not stir.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately with bread (traditional choice) or a side of almond couscous (recipe on this link).

Food For Thought – Ignorance might have once been bliss, it might have even been excusable, but in this day and age that is no longer the case. All information is out there. Make sure you are always well informed.

 

The world is beautiful, all its people are beautiful, all cultures equally important, and all the same in the end – all out there for us to explore…

Ramadan Kareem

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