Try a Babylonian recipe at home:
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.
Recipe by Gojko Barjamovic and Nawal Nashrallah