Brrrr, it is cold here and so I have been craving hearty warming food. I like my stews meaty, slow cooked and full of strong flavours. I came across this delicious Persian Lamb, Butternut Squash, Prune and Tamarind Stew recipe and felt already warmer straight away.
This is a surprisingly simple stew that convinces through the richness of it’s flavours. I never had cooked with Tamarind before, but have been aware of it for a while, as in Filipino food tamarind is widely used. The taste is quite bitter; but it contrasts well with the sweetness of the prunes.
Don’t forget to read my tip on how to best peal a butternut squash, as it sometime can be a bit of a pain. I served this with rice for my husband Dave; where as I just had it by itself as it is quite filling.
- vegetable oil
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 600 gr stewing lamb
- 2 heaped tsp ground cumin,
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 heaped tsp turmeric
- pinch salt, pepper
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 1 small butternut squash pealed, de-seeded and cut into 5 cm (2in) chunks
- 2 generous handfuls of pitted prunes
- Heat the little bit of oil in a large stewing pan and fry the onion until soft.
- Now add in the lamb and fry until browned but not stewed.
- Add the spices to the pan with some salt and pepper and stir so that the meat is coated. Now stir in the honey and tamarind paste.
- Cover with enough water so it just about covers the lamb and reduce the temperature to let the stew simmer for 1½ hours.
- In the meantime pierce the butternut squash a few times with a knife, and then place on a baking tray and let it roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. After that it should be easy to peal the skin, now de-seed, and cut into chunks.
- After the stew has been simmering for 1½ hours, add the butternut squash and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Now add the prunes; taste the stew add more seasoning if necessary and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Serve with basmati rice or pita bread.