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Feb 18, 2008 10:29 PM

How To Re-Find That Amazing Lamb Recipe? [Moved from Los Angeles Area board]

I misplaced a recipe for the most amazing lamb dish I have ever tasted. It was at the end page of the L.A. Times Magazine at least several years ago. It was, I recall, a Lebanese or other Middle Eastern dish of cubed lamb, zucchini, chick-peas, cumin & other items slow-cooked in a large open ceramic pan called a "Sinneya". Part of the name was "Al Darwish", which was translated to mean "Dervish". Is anyone familiar with that recipe because they, too, clipped out a now tattered or missing copy? Any suggestions on finding it? JET

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  1. My guess is masbahat al-darwish

    The Dervish's Rosary
    Serves 4


    ½ cup butter or oil
    1 cup chopped onions
    1 pound (2 cups) cubed lamb
    1 to 1½ cups cubed eggplant
    1 cup sliced zucchini
    1 cup cooked chickpeas
    5 medium tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (28-ounce) can whole or coarsely chopped tomatoes
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon pepper
    Dash oregano
    Dash cinnamon
    Dash turmeric
    Optional: lemon juice, up to ½ lemon

    If using butter, melt it in a small pan, skim off the froth and pour the clear butterfat from the watery whey.
    Put 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a frying pan and fry the onions over medium heat until softened and just starting to turn yellow. Transfer to a 9-inch by 13-inch roasting pan.
    Put more oil or butter in the pan, briefly fry the eggplant and zucchini and add them to the onions.
    Put in the rest of the oil or butter, raise the heat to high and fry the meat in two batches until the pieces start to brown, stirring constantly.
    Add the meat to the roasting pan along with the chickpeas, salt, pepper, oregano, cinnamon and turmeric. Top with the tomatoes (if whole, slice them first). Add enough water to just cover everything.
    Bake at 350 F until the meat is done and the stew is fairly thick, about 2½ hours.
    Taste and add salt and lemon juice if you wish. Serve with plain rice pilaf.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PatrickWoods

      It seems odd not to make a Lebanese dish of this sort with allspice, about an inch of broken cinnamon, thyme and maybe a bare dash of seven spice, but otherwise sounds delicious.

      1. re: PatrickWoods

        Many thanks, Patrick...Have you also found this dish irresistible!? I love it over Saffron-Scented Couscous. It is the quintessential, soothing & scrumptious cold weather dish.

          1. I think I found the original in the LA Times archive, but then realized it's by the Charles Perry, the same author as the one Rockles posted above. He seems to have simplified the recipe a bit but it's basically the same.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cliocooks

              I think the original (L.A. Times)is worth the extra effort . The end result has always been pure culinary poetry! Thanks again, Clio! By the way, have you tasted this masterpiece?