August 6, 2010

Za'atar Lamb

Za'atar is a spice mixture made from dried herbs (such as oregano, thyme or majoram) mixed with sesame seeds and other spices. Traditinally, that other spice is sumac. It is used in the Arab cuisine as well as in Turkey and Jordan. It can be used as a seasoning on meat, vegetables or may be sprinkled on top of bowl of hummus.

On Tuesday, when I prepared the garam masala, I wanted to cook something spicy and unusual to me. I had a nice piece of lamb, but had no clear idea what to prepare. So the day before I marinated the lamb in olive oil, garlic and thyme. I thought this can't be wrong no matter what I am gonna cook. Somewhen late night, when I woke up to some noise, I had the
sudden idea to combine the lamb with chickpeas, so I grabbed the bag and drown a good handful in water. The next day, the dish was born: spicy chickpea and couscous among the za'atar flavoured lamb, cucumber coulis and crème fraîche in order to balance the spiciness.

100 g chickpeas, dried
50 g couscous
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 cm fresh ginger
1 chili
200 g tomatoes
lemon juice

Cook chickpeas or use tinned, prepare the couscous as written on the package. Cut tomatoes in pieces and among some salt cook for about 10 minutes, then pass it through a sieve and set
this puree aside. Heat oil, add the curry powder, garam masala and stir for about half a minute. Add chopped (in my case grated) onion, garlic, ginger and chili (cut in half in case you want to remove it or chopped) and fry until the onion is softened. Add the chickpeas, about 150 ml water, salt and cook until the water has been absorbed. Stir in the couscous and the tomato puree, season with salt and lemon juice.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Za'atar is so delicious! With lamb it must be perfect.



Houdini said...

Seht guet us, no nie ghört vo Za'atar; Couscous und Chick Peas jederzyt mit Freud.

Anonymous said...

was Dir alles so einfällt ! Mir gehts wie Erich.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a lovely meal. I love all the ingredients you've combined to make this original dish. It looks wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

chriesi said...

@Rosa: I was very sceptical before I took the first bite but now I can say I love that mixture!

@Houdini: Ich has au nur per zuefall imene Buech entdeckt.

@lamiacucina: mängisch chömmed die idee eifach

@Mary: Thank you Mary!

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