Lamb and Chickpeas in Saffron




15 min


1 hr


  • 3/4 cup ‏Dried chickpeas
  • 3 whole, 3 chopped ‏garlic cloves
  • 2 lbs ‏lamb shoulder, boneless and cubed
  • 1/4 tsp ‏red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp ‏salt
  • 4 tbsp ‏cooking oil
  • 1 ‏cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole ‏onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 ‏green chillies, chopped
  • 10-15 threads ‏saffron
  • 2 cups ‏water
  • 1/4 cup ‏cilantro leaves

This is a lightly spiced lamb dish with chickpeas, which has a rich aroma of saffron, and is fairly easy to prepare.


Overnight, soak chickpeas in a bowl.

On the day of cooking, drain the chickpeas first, before putting them in a saucepan to boil. Add some baking soda and garlic, you know, because garlic makes everything better. Cook for about 45 minutes until the chickpeas are tender. Set them aside and wash them in a wider bowl with cold water. Using your palms will make the skin comes off easily, so you’re not frustrated trying to peel the skin one chickpea at a time. That’s depressing.

In a tagine (or a heavy skillet), heat some oil over medium-high heat. Season lamb with chili flakes and some salt. Take small batches of lamb pieces and brown them on all sides, before transferring to a bowl. Drizzle some oil if the pot looks dry. Throw in the cinnamon stick and let it fry until it turns dark brown. Add chopped onion to the tagine and stir until they’re caramelized. Then add your mixture of chopped garlic and green chillies and stir. Reduce heat to medium, add salt and cook until the garlic starts changing its color to golden, for about 5 minutes. Add saffron and stir, allowing it to cook for about 4-5 more minutes. Now you can put in the lamb and gently stir. Add about 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Then cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 30 minutes. Open and stir in the chickpeas, and put the cover back and cook for about 30 more minutes. Season with cilantro leaves. Be happy.

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