Harissa Lamb Stew

Author Notes: This is the food that cheers me and fills my heart with joy. My lamb stew is the first dish that my mum tasted and asked for the recipe – before that, she was the giver of recipes – it started a reciprocal foodie relationship between my mother and me. My apprenticeship was complete.Caleigh Gnana-Pragasam

Serves: 4


  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder, diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cilantro seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pakrika
  • 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rose harissa
  • 1 liter lamb broth
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 handful cilintro leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In This Recipe


  1. Put the rice flour in a bowl and mix in the cumin, coriander and paprika, season with salt and toss the lamb in the spiced flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the lamb, letting it brown well before stirring.
  3. Once browned all over, add the onions, carrots and celery and leave to soften slightly.
  4. Stir in the harissa and add the stock to just cover the meat and veg.
  5. Bring to the boil then simmer with the lid on for 2-3 hours until the lamb is tender. Give it a stir whenever you remember, to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan.
  6. At the last minute, just before serving, stir in the lemon zest, chopped red chilli and cilantro leaves for an extra touch of freshness and heat.

More Great Recipes:
Stew|Carrot|Celery|Cilantro|Cumin|Lamb|One-Pot Wonders|Slow Cook|Winter|Gluten-Free

Reviews (3) Questions (0)

3 Reviews

trampledbygeese January 11, 2015
Just tried this for dinner tonight. Cooked it in a tagine and it was delicious. That harissa sauce sure is spicy.
LE B. January 11, 2014
hi c, this looks wonderful and I'm hoping to make it soon. There are a few questions. When you say 'cilantro seeds' you mean coriander seeds, yes? (round, what colored, used in Indian cooking? If that is what you mean, in English we call that coriander. Cilantro is the leaves and stems of a different plant. Also, what is 'rose harissa'? I have only read of 'harissa'.

Do you find lamb shoulder very fatty? Do you ever remove the fat from the sauce before serving the dish?
Author Comment
Caleigh G. January 11, 2014
Thanks for the lovely comments, it's a favourite dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family do. Thanks, also, for your queries. I hope I can answer them!

Rose harissa is the same as harissa, but for the addition of rose petals. If you can't get hold of it then normal harissa will work just as well. If you like, you can add a teaspoon of food-grade rose petals or rose water to the stew instead.

I always trim the fat from the lamb shoulder before cooking it, but if you don't do that then yes, feel free to drain the fat from the pan before adding the broth, or skim the fat from the sauce before serving.

When I say 'cilantro seeds' I do mean coriander seeds. In English (Which, my family have spoken since 1066, when they arrived in the UK) the name 'cilantro' and 'coriander' refer to the same plant and the seeds are the dries berries of the herb. I do apologies if some of my recipe has been lost in translation.