Rafed English

Sweet Lamb for Ramadhan (El Ham Lahlou - Algeria)

Serves: 3


1 lb lamb
12 prunes (dried)
1 pear (firm)
3 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
2 tablespoons raisins (white)
2 tablespoons whole almonds (blanched)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Cut lamb into 2-3 in pieces. Soak prunes in water for 1-2 hours & remove pits. Peel & core the pear & cut into wedges.

2. Melt butter in a pan over low heat & add the lamb. Sauté over low heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add cinnamon, water & sugar & mix well.

4. Increase heat to mod & cook for approx 45 minutes or till the lamb is tender to a fork. The sauce will become darker.

5. Drain prunes & add them to the lamb w/the raisins, almonds & pear.

6. Simmer for a further 15 minutes, remove the pan from heat & stir in the orange blossom water. (See note below).

7. NOTES: "Normally served at room temp w/rice, salad & bread, this sweet lamb dish is eaten after a dy of fasting during the Muslim holy celebration of Ramadhan. It's cooked w/o salt to prevent thirst the next dy for those fasting -- something that can be important in hot desert areas.".

8. "Orange blossom water is distilled water containing the essential oils of the orange blossom. It adds a hint of a citrus scent to foods & compliments the flavor. It is used in many lamb dishes, desserts & is perfect for fruit. A little goes a long way, so add it a few drops at a time to determine how much you like. It can be found at farmers markets, specialty food stores & Middle Eastern grocers."

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