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Babylonian lamb stew with beets
- 1 pound of diced leg of mutton or lamb
- 1/2 cup of rendered sheep fat
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of beer
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup of chopped arugula
- 1 cup of Persian shallots or spring onions
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 pound of fresh red beets, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup of chopped leek
- 2 cloves of garlic
For the garnish:
- 2 teaspoons of dry coriander seed
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped kurrat or ramps/wild leek
- Heat the fat in a pot wide enough for the diced lamb to spread in one layer.
- Add lamb and sear on high heat until all moisture evaporates.
- Fold in the onion, and keep cooking until it is almost transparent.
- Fold in red beet, arugula, cilantro, Persian shallots and cumin. Keep on folding until the moisture evaporates and ingredients emit a pleasant aroma.
- Pour in the beer. Add water. Give the pot a light stir. Bring the pot to a boil.
- Reduce heat and add leek and garlic that you crush in a mortar.
- Let the stew simmer until the sauce thickens after about an hour.
- Chop kurrat and fresh cilantro and pound it into a paste using a mortar.
- Ladle the stew into plates and sprinkle with dry coriander seed and the kurrat and cilantro paste. The dish can be served with steamed bulgur and naan-bread.
- 14 ounces barley seeds
- ¾ cup warm water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ ounce kurrāth
- ¼ ounce cilantro
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3½ ounces leeks
- 2 tablespoons oil of untoasted sesame
- 6 ¼ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste (5 teaspoons)
For making the sourdough bread (bappiru ‘beer-bread’):
- Wash the seeds and soak them in water overnight. Dry them, toast them lightly (?), and then grind them into flour.
- Make the flour into dough by adding warm water. Let it ferment slowly for about 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Shape dough into clumps, sprinkle them with salt, and bake them in a medium-hot oven (375ºF) for about 20 minutes, or until they are done. Let the bread cool completely and then coarsely crush it.
For making the broth:
- Chop kurrāth and cilantro, and set aside
- Pound the garlic and leeks together into paste using a mortar.
- Heat the sesame oil in a pot and add the mashed garlic and leeks, stirring constantly, until they start to produce a pleasant aroma, a few minutes.
- Add water and salt, stir the pot, and let it simmer gently for about an hour. About 15 minutes before the pot is done, stir in the set-aside chopped leeks and cilantro.
- Just before removing the pot from the fire, scatter the crushed bread all over the stew, give it a gentle stir, and then serve it.
Recipes by Gojko Barjamovic and Nawal Nashrallah