Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas & Figs

Moroccan Lamb Stew With Chickpeas & Figs
The lamb is coated and marinated in a spice paste. As the meat browns in the pot, the spices will also brown and cook, adding a rich flavor and color to the stew. This dish not only has heat, but the heady aroma of exotic spice. Its secret ingredient is ras el hanout, and we've used Afrikoz Spices NORTH blend for this recipe.
Cuisine: African
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2kg lamb shoulder or leg, cut in 2 inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 x 400g can Italian whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 12 dried Calimyrna or Turkish figs, halved
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons Afrikoz Spices NORTH blend
  • 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Harissa or red chili paste
  • Fresh coriander sprigs
  1. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Mix to form a paste.
  2. Place lamb in a large bowl. Rub paste all over lamb. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate covered up to 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or oven proof pot with lid over medium-high heat.
  5. Add lamb in batches and brown on all sides, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer lamb to a plate or bowl.
  6. Add onion and carrot to the same pot. Saute, stirring up the brown bits, for 2 minutes.
  7. Add garlic and ginger and continue to saute 1 minute.
  8. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, figs, cinnamon stick, Afrikoz Spices NORTH blend, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  9. Return lamb and any collected juices to the pot, submerging it in the stock. (Add additional chicken stock to cover, if necessary.)
  10. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot. Transfer to oven and bake until lamb is falling apart tender, about 2 hours.
  11. Transfer pot to stove. Remove lamb and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
  12. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat.
  13. Boil uncovered until sauce is reduced by about half and thickened, skimming fat.
  14. Stir in chickpeas.
  15. Taste to check for seasoning. If necessary add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the stock.
  16. Return lamb and vegetables to pot.
  17. Serve with prepared couscous.
  18. Pass bowls of harissa and fresh cilantro around the table as condiments.
May be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, skim any collected fat from surface. Rewarm over medium-low heat or in a 325 F. oven.

Adapted from Lynda Balslev's