Tagine of Spiced Lamb and Chickpeas

Serves 4

Adapted from Recipes for an Arabian Night by David Scott, this Moroccan stew is simple to make but full of beguiling flavors. As with flavorful Indian curries, this lamb dish works well in hot weather. The well-seasoned but light-textured tomato sauce has a fresh flavor, and the dish is augmented with lemon.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder chops, bones and excess fat discarded, cut into bite-size chunks (yields about 10 ounces of meat)
  • 1 medium (6 ounces) yellow onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 14½-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • ¾ cup water
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 15-ounce cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves or chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedges, to serve
  • Cooked white long-grain rice, optional


Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-based, stovetop-safe casserole dish. Without crowding, brown the lamb on all sides, in batches if necessary.

Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the cumin, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Add the tomatoes and water and season with salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas and continue simmering until the lamb is very tender, about 40 minutes more. The sauce should be quite thick. If not, reduce by rapid boiling, uncovered. Taste for seasoning and garnish with the cilantro. Serve over cooked rice with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Nutrition Analysis: 470 cal, 26 g fat, 50 mg chol, 510 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 24 g protein.

The author of more than a dozen cookbooks to date, Gluten-Free Living Contributing Editor Jackie Mallorca’s titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.