Lamb and Quince Stew

Kuzu ve ayva yahnisi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

The early Mevlani texts refer to lamb cooked with apples, plums, grapes, apricots, quinces and figs. Lamb and fruit casseroles are particularly popular in Bursa and Konya, two Islamic strongholds. This dish works equally well with veal.


  • 2 lb/900 g shoulder of lamb, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 tablespoons kuyrukyağı (sheep’s tail fat), clarified butter, or oil with a little butter
  • 8-10 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 quinces, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 segments
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • ¼ pint/150 ml water
  • bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey


  • Preheat oven to 400F/Mark 6/200C
  • Heat the fat in a pan. Brown the meat and remove from the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, quince and spices to the fat in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove the quince from the pan and stir in the tomato purée. Return the meat to the pan and pour over the water. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season to taste.
  • Tip the mixture into an oven-proof dish. Lay the slices of quince over the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the quince segments have caramelized on top. Serve hot with nohutlu pilav.