Somalian Lamb Stew

26 January 2021 By

Somalian Lamb Stew is traditionally called Maraq Hilib Ari. A well known Somali stew, made with lamb, potatoes and a variety of other vegetables ranging from carrots, cabbage, tomatoes and green bell peppers. However this version is entirely my take on this classic one pot stew. It’s versatile enough to be served with rice, cous cous, chappatis, spongy pancakes or a crusty bread roll.

The sauce in this deeply flavourful lamb stew will be full on tasty, yet slightly runny as its released entirely from the meat and vegetable juices. While the aromatic spices, herbs and the earthy flavour of the root vegetables, combine really well with the strong taste of the lamb.

No water, yoghurt or any kind of cream should be added to thicken it up. This dish is all about adding different ingredients, at the right time which ensures everything cooks together. The lamb will be soft and tender, while the thick batons of potatoes and carrots retain their shape as they soften gently in the low heat.

Ingredients - Serves 6

  • 1 kg lamb neck and shoulder chops, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 8 garlic, finely minced
  • 3 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cm cinnamon stick – small pieces
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cardamom
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp Latasha’s Kitchen Turmeric Spice Magic
  • 1 tbsp Latasha’s Kitchen Coriander Curry Paste
  • 1 tbsp Somalian Xawaash Spice Mix
  • 3 green chillies, split
  • 3-4 large ruby potatoes, peeled, and cut into batons
  • 2 carrots, cut into batons peeled, and cut into batons
  • ½ cabbage, torn into thick chunks
  • 3 tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 300  bunch of coriander leaves, chopped

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  1. Set a deep casserole style pot on medium heat.
  2. Pour in 2 tablespoons oil, add the whole spices and allow to sizzle, then add onions. Fry until onions turn golden brown.
  3. Next add grated ginger and minced garlic, and allow to cook for 4 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Stir in chilli powder, Latasha’s Kitchen Turmeric Spice Magic and Latasha’s Kitchen Coriander Curry Paste. Cook for 6-8 minutes on low then add the lamb and sear all over until the meat changes colour.
    TIP: This step caramelises the surface of the meat and adds an amazing depth of flavour to the stew.
  5. Now add the sliced tomatoes, season with a pinch of salt and sprinkle over Somali Xawaash Spice Mix. Tuck in the potato and carrot batons, chunks of cabbage and green chillies between the meat.
  6. Cover the dish tightly with alfoil and cook on low on the stovetop until the lamb is almost tender, takes around an hour on low heat.
  7. Best not to add any water as the juice from the meat and vegetables will release and provide an amazing sauce.
  8. Lastly stir in the roughly chopped coriander leaves and cook for 5 minutes without the cover.
  9. Serve this dish with a side of plain yoghurt or creamy carrot slaw as a cooling alternative along with bread or rice.