Turkish lamb, aubergine, dried apricot and chickpea stew
A recipe posted in response to a post by Essie looking for recipes that include aubergines. Only one in this, but it's a big one so I hope this will do. The recipe is a version of a low-cholesterol recipe I found in a book. Seems odd, given that it uses lamb, but I guess all the other bits up the "healthy quotient"! The recipe serves four and cooks surprisingly quickly on the hob, not in the oven.
1 large aubergine in 3/4 inch / 1 cm cubes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic (or more, for you garlic lovers out there)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 lb / 450 g of boned and cubed leg of lamb
14 oz / 400 g can of tomatoes
4 oz / 115 g dried apricots (halved if they seem large)
Small can of chickpeas, drained (around 4 oz / 115 g of chickpeas)
1 teaspoon of honey
Salt and pepper to your taste
Heat the oil and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Stir in the spices and fry for another minute.
Add the lamb and fry till browned all over.
Add aubergine and fry for five minutes. Stir regularly to ensure it doesn't stick to the base of the pan. If you need to, add a little more oil and allow to get up to temperature before adding the aubergine.
Roughly chop the tomatoes in the can with a long-bladed knife and add them, 1/2 pint / 300 ml water, apricots and seasoning stirring well to incorporate.
Bring this mixture to the boil and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the chickpeas, honey, continue cooking until the lamb is done. This usually requires another 15 minutes or so.
Serve with couscous tossed with toasted chopped almonds and chopped dried apricots or raisins - yellow sultans would be a good option or even during the holidays dried cherries or craisins.
The stew is if anything even better reheated the next day. It also freezes well. Kids love it as well because it is so sweet and the meat so tender, though I have to say that in my admittedly limited experience, kids here in Spain are quite adventurous over what they're prepared to eat in comparison with British kids.
Legs of lamb are quite small here in Spain (just over a kilo / 2 lbs) with bone in. I can't buy small portions of lamb off the bone here so I buy a whole leg and get the butcher to bone it. Once boned and skinned, I have enough meat for easily eight adults once all the other ingredients are upped.