This dish is often referred to as the Prophet’s (PBUH), favourite dish. It is said that, he thought it was the king of all dishes. It has different names in the Middle East like Mylaham and Threed but it all refers to the delicious, hearty lamb and vegetable stew.
It has many variations but primarily, it is a simple dish that consists of stewed meat and broth-soaked bread. Now that doesn’t sound like much but believe me, it’s delicious and a much-loved family favourite in our house. It’s a warm, inviting dish and very filling. The dish is loved by mums because it’s a one pot dish.
Every country in the Middle East has their own variation of this dish, with some using lamb or beef. Also, different vegetables and beans are added. The tender meat and vegetables bring out rich and tasty flavours which soak into the bread, making it simply a mouth-watering dish. This is my basic Tashreeb recipe with variations to try.
Iraqi Lamb Tashreeb
(Serves 4 to 6)
- 1.5kg Lamb shoulder, cut into pieces
- 3 onions, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp Curry powder or Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas (optional)
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots sliced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 servings of pita, naan or other bread
- Heat the oil in a medium sized pot and sauté the onions until soft, golden and caramelized. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Using the same pan and on a medium heat, add the meat. Stir the meat until the edges start to brown.
- Add the onions back to the pot and stir.
- Add the whole cloves of garlic, curry powder, black pepper, turmeric, tomato paste, bay leaves and stir for a minute.
- Add the chickpeas and the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer covered until lamb is tender, about 2 hours. Add the potato and carrots half way through the cooking time. Add salt once fully cooked.
- On a large serving plate or in individual bowls, make a bed of broken or torn bread. Arrange the lamb in the middle, spoon the broth and chickpeas over.
- Serve immediately.
The recipe is delicious and I serve it with bowls of yogurt and sliced fresh onions.
This dish is so versatile and you can add things that you like to the basic recipe. One variation is adding canned tomatoes. Be sure to remember to add the potatoes and carrots, half way through cooking so that they don’t overcook and go mushy.
Also, you could add canned beans, whichever you like. I like to add Cannellini beans, which have fluffy texture and a slightly nutty, mild flavour. They go perfectly with the lamb but you could add any canned beans that you have. Likewise, you could add any root vegetables you like or have in the fridge. I like to add, parsnips or turnips.
My final tip is, if you have an Instapot or pressure cooker, then go ahead and use it for this recipe, as this will really shorten the cooking time.
Say Bismillah, and enjoy!