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Hajar's Lamby Friday Food Couscous

Servings: 6


2/3 cup dried garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 lamb shanks or 2 lamb necks, with a good bone in
1 cup chopped white onion
5 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon cooking salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, rounded. I use a teaspoon not a measuring spoon. Do this to taste for flavor and heat
4 carrots, cut into chunks
3 small turnips, in chunks
2 cups couscous
3 small zucchini, in chunks
2 green sweet peppers


1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in four times their volume of water in a noncorrosive bowl. I said chickpeas, zaar says garbanzo beans! Here in Morocco Humus is the word for chickpeas.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed 5- to 7-quart pot.

3. Lightly brown the lamb.

4. on all sides over moderate heat. Transfer the meat to a warm platter.

5. Reduce the temperature to low and saute the onions for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

6. Add the lamb, boiling water, lemon juice, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Stir, cover, and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes.

7. Drain the chickpeas and stir them into the lamb mixture. Simmer the ingredients, covered, for 45 minutes until chickpeas are tender.

8. Begin this step 5 minutes before step 6 is completed. Peel the carrots and turnips. Cut the carrots into 3/4-inch long segments and the turnips into 3/4-inch cubes. When step 6 is completed, stir these ingredients into the pot containing the lamb. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until veg. is very soft. No tender crisp here!

9. Begin this step as soon as the carrots and turnips start simmering in step 7. Put the couscous pellets in a 2- to 3-quart pan. Pour cold tap water into the pan until it reaches a depth of 1 inch above the pellets.

10. Soak the pellets for 10 minutes.

11. Pour the couscous into a sieve, discarding the water. Return the couscous to its soaking pan. Slowly strain two cups of the broth from the large pot into the couscous. Bring this mixture to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes over low heat.

12. Chunk the zucchini into 3-inch pieces and the peppers into 1/4 inch-thick strips. When step 7 is completed, stir in both ingredients and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes.

13. It should be time to turn off the heat under the simmering couscous as soon as the zucchini-and-pepper mixture starts simmering in step 10. Fluff, cover the pan, and let it stand for 8 minutes. Then pour off any remaining liquid.

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