Moroccan Lamb and Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower Couscous is a flavorful, comforting, healthy, complete meal, full of herbs and spices. Loaded with protein, fiber and potassium.
Moroccan Lamb Stew
I have devoured this delectable Moroccan lamb stew during many a visits to Moroccan homes and a journey to fascinating Morocco. And over the years I have prepared it several times, only to fall more in love with it.
Just a look at the variety of vegetables, spices and herbs used in this - Moroccan Lamb and Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower Couscous - and you can already start feeling the flavors and get hungry.
Don't let the long list of ingredients deter you from making this. Once you gather all the ingredients and quickly chop up the veggies, the rest of it does not take much time.
With this "Moroccan Lamb and Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower Couscous", you will not need to make a bunch of side dishes to complete the meal. And you could even double the stew recipe and freeze it for later.
How To Use Cauliflower Couscous
Here, I mix regular couscous with "cauliflower" couscous. Especially when you combine the two, you can easily pass the test with the pickiest of eaters. And why would you want to add the cauliflower? To lighten up the calories and carbs, to make it more filling and to add some extra veggies.
These tips come in handy when you are trying to cook a meal for someone who is a diabetic or is trying to lose weight and needs to manage the carb intake, and to sneak in some veggies for your kids or to serve a balanced meal to your family. All the while keeping it tastefully healthy!
In the recipe and notes section below, I detail the different ways to make "cauliflower" couscous. You could even make it gluten free if you skip the regular semolina based couscous. By the way, cauliflower tastes great in a creamed version too.
Trust me, this Moroccan Lamb and Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower Couscous recipe will become a keeper in your growing repertoire.
Lamb is an excellent source of the vitamin B-12. It provides high quality protein with all the essential amino acids for growth and maintenance. It is also a very good source of niacin and selenium. And is a good source of zinc, phosphorus and Iron.
However, lamb is a red meat and therefore should be eaten in moderation. Because, a diet rich in red meat can increase the risk of cancers, heart disease etc.
Grass fed lamb is the most desirable option as it is a better source of omega - 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid, which is associated with favorable health benefits.
Apart from the lamb, this stew also has an excellent plant protein source - the chickpeas. And so you will not need a whole lot of meat and in fact I prefer to use lean lamb with "bone", to add to the taste and flavor.
While I start out with lean lamb, I add a little bit of ghee right at the end of cooking, when its rich and nutty flavor can still linger and hit the palate right away. Besides, when it comes to grass fed ghee, a little goes a long way.
More Lamb Recipes:
- Braised Lamb Shanks
- Roast Lamb Shawarma
- Lamb Tagine with Mushrooms and Olives
- Kabob Koobideh
- Okra Stew with Lamb
- Lamb Biryani
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Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prick the eggplants with a fork in couple spots and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the skin turns darker and shrinks. Check foot notes for grilling, broiling or stove top options.
- The eggplants should be cooked through completely in the center. To check, press the back of a fork on the eggplant. It should compress easily all the way into the center without any resistance.
- Cut through the eggplant skin and scoop out the soft cooked flesh and mash it with a fork and set aside.
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces, discarding some seeds if you wish. See note below for peeled and deseeded tomatoes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan at medium setting. Add the chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne or chili powder, ⅓ teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes are softened, stirring in between, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the mashed eggplants and cilantro. Continue to cook over low heat for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, mashing it if needed, into a thick but slightly textured dip like consistency.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt. Adjust as per taste, let it cool and transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate it overnight before serving.
- Take the zaalouk from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving and let it come to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Garnish with cilantro and red pepper flakes if you prefer.
- Chunky Zaalouk: To make a chunkier but less traditional zaalouk, insert garlic cloves into eggplant and roast it in the oven at 400˚F, along with the tomatoes. Chop the eggplants and tomatoes. Add the spices, herbs, half the olive oil, salt and mash it up to desired consistency. Drizzle olive oil and serve.
- Cooking Eggplants:
- Grill: Roast eggplants on charcoal or gas grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them slowly in between, until skin turns darker and shrinks.
- Broil: Cut eggplants lengthwise into halves and place the cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Place on the second rack and broil until skin turns darker and shrinks, about 20 minutes.
- Stovetop: Peel the eggplants completely, only some stripes or leave the skin on if you don’t mind it. Cut the eggplants into small pieces. Steam on high heat until soft or cook in a pan with some water until soft and mushy.
- Easy Zaalouk: Combine all ingredients with ⅓ cup of water and cook it over stove top until softened. Mash it up well and drizzle olive oil.
- Peeled and deseeded tomatoes: If you prefer, you can blanch the tomatoes. Cut a small cross on the surface of tomatoes and dump them in hot boiling water. After a minute, pick out the tomatoes and peel the skin, cut them into halves and deseed. Chop them into small pieces.
- Use more tomatoes if you want the dip to be saucy. You may even try using a little bit of tomato paste to give it thickness.
- Leftovers: Can be refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. You can freeze zaalouk for couple months. Thaw and reheat. Adjust the consistency, evaporating or adding water as needed. Check the seasoning as well.
- Nutrition facts not including any added salt.
- For other variations, tips and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.
Moroccan Lamb Stew With Cauliflower Couscous
MOROCCAN LAMB AND VEGETABLE STEW
- ¾ cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 1 pound lamb shoulder lean, with bone, 2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon ginger grated
- 2 teaspoon ras el hanout Moroccan spice blend
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds ground
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds ground
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ground
- 2 roma tomatoes chopped
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaves
- 2½ to 3 cups water
- ⅓ pound acorn squash organic, sliced
- ⅓ pound zucchini organic, sliced
- ⅓ pound carrot organic, sliced
- ¼ pound turnip sliced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon raisins optional
- 2 teaspoons ghee or brown butter, optional
MOROCCAN LAMB STEW
- Drain the water from the soaked chickpeas and cook it until soft.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 4 to 5 quart cooking pot at medium high setting. Add the chopped onions and sauté until golden brown.
- Add the lamb and brown it for a few minutes. Next add the ingredients from grated ginger through black pepper and stir.
- Then add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cook about five minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add water, bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for about an hour.
- Next add the cooked chickpeas and cook for about 10 minutes. And then add the vegetables (I use organic and retain the peel), herbs and salt to taste. Add raisins (soaked in water) if you prefer.
- Let it simmer for about 20 minutes until all the ingredients are well cooked.
- Add one to two teaspoons ghee in the end, right before serving.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare the cauliflower couscous about 20 minutes before the stew is done.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring about 1¾ cups water to a boil with 2 pinches of salt (or as per taste).
- Add olive oil or butter and stir in the couscous. Remove the saucepan from the heat source and allow it to stand for about 5 minutes or more until the water is absorbed.
- Using a fork fluff the couscous to break any lumps.
- Combine the cooked grated cauliflower with the couscous, using a fork to fluff it up.
- Serve this Moroccan lamb stew with cauliflower couscous immediately. I arrange the vegetables and lamb over the couscous and serve the remaining sauce on the side.
- Offer some marinated olives and harissa or a ground red chili paste (like sambal oelek) on the side.
- Ras el Hanout is a specialty Moroccan spice blend available at Moroccan or Middle Eastern stores and online.
- For this stew, you may also use butternut squash or sweet potato instead of acorn squash.
- Generally the cooking time for lamb may vary from 1½ to 2 hours. Add chickpeas and vegetables accordingly, about 20 minutes prior to when lamb should be well done.
- Follow package instructions for cooking any commercially available couscous.
- Alternatively the grated cauliflower may be sautéed with 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Nutrition facts not including salt. Check for any added salt in spice mixes and other ingredients and adjust.