Al’s Café Lamb and Prune Tagine

Yuba City, the prune capital of the world, is where I ate and enjoyed this dish.


  • lb / 680 g boneless lamb shoulder or neck fillet
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pt / 280 ml water or lamb stock
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 oz / 170 g pitted prunes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice


Trim the meat, and cut into 1 in / 2.5 cm chunks. In a heavy pan, brown the lamb in the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic and spices and continue to fry until the onions are transparent. Add the water and salt, and bring slowly to the boil.

Reduce the heat immediately, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add the prunes and lemon juice, cover once more, and simmer for a further 45 minutes or so. Serve with couscous, bulgar wheat or basmati rice.