Lamb Casserole with Mint and Chickpeas

I can’t remember where I found this Afghani recipe, designed for breast of lamb, but it has a good flavour. My friend Christine said she knew I could really cook when I used up the breasts of lamb in her freezer. I like the cut but it is fiddly, so you can use leg instead.

Ingredients

  • 900g/2lb boned leg or breast of lamb cut into pieces
  • 225g/8oz chickpeas
  • 120ml/4fl oz olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 600ml/1 pint water
  • mint leaves
  • paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 450g/1lb peeled potatoes, in large pieces
  • juice of ½ a lemon

To Serve

  • yoghurt
  • finely chopped onion

Method

Soak the chickpeas for 12 hours, then drain. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the pieces of lamb, add the onions and soften but do not allow to colour. Add the chickpeas and water, bring to the boil and skim well. Stir in the mint, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and the lemon juice and more water if necessary, and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Serve with yoghurt to which you have added some finely chopped onion.

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