This hearty Arabian Lamb Stew recipe is loaded with tender lamb meat and great flavor from the bones, and earthy, warm Arabian spices. It is a worthy Restaurant Style meal made with simple ingredients following easy steps.
Lamb stew is a rich dish with tender meat, potatoes, onions, and a hint of subtle, delicious spice. It is also called Saloonat Laham in Arabic.
If you cook this recipe in a pressure cooker (instant pot), the cooking time will be around 30 to 40 minutes. Cooking it on the stovetop using my method will take 1 hour and a half. Serve the stew with fluffy parboiled rice or coconut milk rice.
🥘Ingredients You'll Need
- Lamb: We’ll use 500 grams of boneless lamb meat. Or you can use 1 kilo of lamb with bones.
- Potatoes: A stew is not a stew without potatoes! We’ll be using one large potato cut into cubes.
- Tomato paste: This lamb stew recipe uses tomato paste. It adds a beautiful richness to the dish and a stunning color too. Trust me on this one!
- Hawaij spice mix: You will find the recipe and ingredients in the recipe card below. This special Yemeni spice mix is used to make recipes such as Chicken Mandi.
🔪How To Make
It can feel intimidating if you’ve never made any kind of stew before. But this recipe is the perfect one to start with.
You'll need a large pan or heavy skillet with a bit of ghee to prepare this dish. Cook on medium-high heat.
Cooking on stovetop
In a large pan, add the lamb meat, black peppercorns, green cardamom, cloves, and enough water to cover the lamb meat and cook it for one hour to one and half hours.
In a medium pan, melt the ghee, then fry the onion until translucent and almost golden.
Add the meat to the onion and fry until you see brown patches on it, then add the potatoes and mix for one minute. Cover for two minutes, then add the garlic and mix.
Season with salt and the rest of the stew spices; mix well. Add the tomato paste and mix until combined.
Pour the boiling water and cook the stew until the potato is cooked and the meat is completely cooked, around 20 minutes on medium heat.
💭 Cooking Tips
- Want to cook the meat even faster? Cut it into small cubes.
- Do not add salt while boiling the meat. Salt will make the meat cook for longer.
- You can add green chili if you want the lamb stew spicy.
- You can cook the meat a day before and refrigerate it. Continue with the remaining steps the next day.
📖 Delicious Variations
The recipe and ingredients I’ve listed are the classic ones for an Arabian Lamb Stew, but you can make it your own with a few variations!
Add other vegetables. Some vegetables and herbs that go well with this stew are carrots, bell peppers, bay leaves, fresh thyme, mushrooms, parsley, parsnips, and turnips.
Convert it into a vegan dish by replacing the meat with vegetables and the ghee with cooking oil.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, of course. To replace the chunk of meat, use large cubes of carrots and potatoes, and then add more of your favorite vegetables. Skip the boiling step and cook the vegetables with the onion.
The chicken will add even more flavor to this stew recipe. Instead of boiling the chicken, fry it with onion and continue with the remaining steps.
This is an alcohol-free recipe, and adding wine or any other alcohol to it will ruin the flavor.
I prefer the leg and shoulders; these cuts are tender and flavorful when cooked properly.
Beef works great in this recipe, but you will have to cook it for longer.
🍲 More Main Dishes You'll Love
If you love my lamb stew, here are a few more fantastic main dishes worth your time. Enjoy!
🌡️ Storing and Reheating
Fridge: Lamb stew can stay safe for four days when refrigerated in an airtight container.
Freezer: You can also freeze it for three months!
Reheat: Pour it into a pot and reheat it on the stovetop for the best result. You can also reheat using the microwave if you're in a hurry.
Note: When frozen, place the stew in the fridge overnight and reheat using any of the two methods mentioned above.
Arabian Lamb Stew Recipe
For cooking the lamb meat in a regular pan
- 500 grams lamb cubes or 1 kilo if with bones
- ½ tablespoon black pepper corns
- ½ tablespoon green cardamom
- 5 whole cloves
- water enough to cover the lamb meat and cook it for 1 hour and half
For the stew
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 large potato cut into cubes
- 5 garlic cloves minced medium sized garlic
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- Salt to taste or two teaspoon
- 6 whole cardamoms
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 5 whole cloves
- 3 inch cinnamon stick or half teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 ½ tablespoon Yamani spice mix recipe below
- 1 dry lemon
- 2 to 3 tablespoon ghee
- 5 cups boiling water
Yemeni Spice Mix
- 2 ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper powder
- 2 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon cardamom powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon clove powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder optional
How to Make Yemeni Spice Mix
- Mix them all up and keep in airtight container.
Making the stew
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, add the lamb meat, black pepper corns, green cardamom, cloves, and enough water to cover the lamb meat and cook it for one hour to one and half hour depending on how big is the cut.
- When the lamb is cooked, discard the spices and water, and keep the meat aside.
- In a separate medium pan, melt the ghee, then fry the onion until translucent and almost golden.
- Add the meat to the onion and fry until you see brown patches on it, then add the potatoes and mix for one minute. Cover for two minutes, then add the garlic and mix.
- Season with salt and the rest of the stew spices, mix well. Add the tomato paste and mix until combined.
- Pour the boiling water and cook the stew until the potato is cooked and the meat is completely cooked around 20 minutes on medium heat.
- Your lamb stew is ready to serve.
- Cut the meat into smaller cuts to help cook it faster.
- Do not add salt when cooking the meat the regular way to prevent it from getting tough or taking a longer time to cook.
- You will not need to cook the meat separately if using a pressure cooker.
- This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated with a video and more information.