(Algerian lamb and dried fruit tagine)
Normally, no salt is added to the dish so as not to cause thirst during the next day's fast. But you can add a little if you like. Other common spellings: l'ham lahlou; el ham lalou.
4 to 6 servings
- Stewing lamb, cubed -- 2 pounds
- Cinnamon -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Ground ginger -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Oil or butter -- 1/4 cup
- Water -- 2 cups
- Saffron (optional) -- a few strands
- Prunes -- 1 cup
- Raisins -- 1/4 cup
- Sugar -- 1/4 cup
- Orange blossom water (optional) -- 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Blanched, sliced almonds, toasted -- 1/2 cup
- In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger. Heat the oil or butter in a large pot over medium-high flame and brown the lamb in batches, removing each batch to a plate before adding the next.
- Return all the browned meat to the pot and add the water and saffron. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the meat starts to get tender.
- While the meat is simmering, cover the prunes and raisins with hot water and set aside to let them plump up for at least 30 minutes.
- After the meat has been simmering for 45 minutes, drain the fruit and add it to the meat along with the sugar and the orange blossom water. Add a little more water if needed and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes.
- Garnish with toasted almonds and serve with couscous, khoubz araby or rice.
Lahm Lhalou Variations
- Meats: Beef can be substituted for the lamb. Or try using chicken instead.
- Dried Fruit: Use dried apricots instead of prunes, or try a mix of the two.
- The orange blossom water can be omitted, but it really adds a beautiful fragrance to the dish. It can be found in many Middle Eastern or Latino markets.