Often referred to as the Prophet Muhammad's favorite dish, this satisfying lamb and vegetable stew is served over thin, cracker-like bread called regag to soak up the rich juices (although we found store-bought, toasted roti to work just as well). To make the preparation easier, have your butcher cut the lamb into pieces. This recipe first appeared in SAVEUR Issue #140 along with Anissa Helou's story Breaking the Fast.
- 1⁄4 cup canola oil
- 3 lb. bone-in lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 3″ pieces
- 2 tbsp. bzar (Emirati spice mix)
- 5 whole cloves
- 2 chiles de árbol, stemmed
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (4″) piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cardamom
- 4 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
- 2 bay leaves
- 15 baby Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
- 2 small zucchini, halved crosswise
- 2 large Italian frying peppers, quartered lengthwise
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 4 (12″) pieces roti flatbread, toasted
Heat oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season lamb all over with spice mix; working in batches, add lamb to pot and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer lamb to a plate and set aside. Add cloves, chiles, and onion to pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add cumin, pepper, cardamom, tomatoes, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring, until tomatoes are soft, about 2 minutes. Return lamb to pot, along with any drippings that accumulated on the plate. Add the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, peppers, and 12 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until lamb is tender, about 1 1⁄2 hours; season with salt and pepper.
Line a large, deep serving dish with roti flatbread, and using a slotted spoon, arrange meat and vegetables over flatbread in dish. Pour liquid into a large serving bowl and serve on the side.