This middle eastern, somewhat peasant, stew is a useful and comforting supper dish which is also good for using up the leftovers from a leg of lamb instead of buying fresh meat should you so desire. Waste not want not.


  • 115g/4oz chickpeas
  • 350/¾ lb lamb, cubed into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 900ml1.2 litres/1½–2 pints chicken stock
  • 400g/14oz chopped, or tinned, tomatoes
  • 55g/2oz long grain rice
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 red pepper, skinned, deseeded and cut in strips
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley


Soak the chickpeas overnight, drain and cook rapidly for 10 minutes and then simmer for a further 20 minutes and then drain. Fry the onion in oil and butter until translucent, add the cubed lamb and brown evenly. Add the ginger, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste and fry for a few minutes.

Transfer to a saucepan in which you have the chicken stock, cover and cook gently for an hour. Add the chick peas, tomatoes, rice, red pepper and lemon juice, and cook for a further 30 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.