The Blog

- - in Olive Oil

The ingredients are common, but the combination is deliciously complex. From cumin, cinnamon, and coriander to mint, turmeric, and allspice, this ground lamb and vegetable dish brings savory, earthy, and slightly sweet flavors to every bite.

Add a simple side of rice and top it all off with a creamy tahini sauce, enriched with garlic and lemon.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Tahini Sauce

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • sea salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • water, as needed

For the Lamb and Vegetables

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried mint
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small eggplant, about 3/4 lb, peeled and small-diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pitted green olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice (or other long-grain white rice)
  • chopped fresh mint leaves for garnish

Preparation

For the Tahini Sauce

  1. Crush and peel the garlic cloves on a cutting board. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and finely chop the garlic and salt together.
  2. Place the garlic-salt mixture in a medium bowl and add the tahini and lemon juice. Stir well to combine.
  3. Gradually whisk in the olive oil to form a thick, creamy sauce. Stir in the cumin and add water a little at a time if the sauce is too stiff. Set aside and re-stir before using.

For the Lamb and Vegetables

  1. Combine the cumin, cinnamon, coriander, mint, turmeric, and allspice in a small bowl.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the ground lamb and cook 3 minutes, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add the spice mixture to the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and cook 5 minutes, until the lamb is just cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the lamb to a bowl.
  4. Add the eggplant, onion, olives, and garlic to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return the lamb to the skillet and stir in the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly soft but not completely broken down, about 4 minutes.

To serve, divide the lamb mixture among 4 plates and spoon rice alongside. Drizzle all with tahini sauce and serve hot, passing any remaining sauce at the table.

Spiced Lamb and Vegetables With Tahini Sauce

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