Born from an overly crowed fridge and an apathetic desire to grocery shop, this lamb and chickpea curry was conceived. It uses many typical pantry items and is very easily adapted to what you have around. In fact I encourage you adopt my sluggish attitude when making this, it seems to taste better done that way.
It works very well with leftover lamb or beef, just skip the browning stage and toss the meat directly into curry when simmering.
To me, the crunchy sweetness that the almonds and pomegranate seeds have make this dish. However, the pomegranate could easily be swapped with some dried fruit such as chopped dates or apricots if pomegranate is out of season.
The spice blend is inspired by Ras El Hanout, a Moroccan blend usually made from dried pepper, herbs, and turmeric. I decided to incorporate some more eastern-Mediterranean flavors like mint, aleppo pepper, and sumac. These spices add an almost floral-like tartness to the dish. As already stated, don't hesitate to mix and match spices with what you have around. Keep the amounts modest and it won't disappoint. Besides lamb and chickpea curry, the spice blend will also work sprinkled on some grilled vegetable or with some spiced chickpeas.
Lamb and Chickpea Curry
- 1 tablespoon smoked hot paprika
- 2 teaspoon dried mint
- 2 teaspoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon aleppo pepper, (or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 white onion, (halved and sliced into half-moons)
- 1 " ginger, (peeled and minced)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cloves garlic, (minced)
- 1 lb lamb shoulder or leg, (cut into 1â€³ chunks)
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, (or canned, juices reserved)
- 1 green bell pepper, (cored and chopped into 1â€³ chunks)
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup almonds, (roughly chopped)
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- salt, (to taste)
- fresh mint (for serving)
- steamed basmati rice, (for serving)