Yemeni Lamb Casserole

This is a Middle-Eastern version of North African tajin, a delicious mixture of lamb, palm hearts and peppers in an egg and cheese batter. Serve with mixed salad for a delicious dinner or supper dish.

2 fl. oz. vegetable oil

2 lb. boned leg of lamb, cubed

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and chopped

1 green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and chopped

14 oz. canned palm hearts, drained and sliced

5 oz. tomato puree

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon ground saffron mixed with

1 tablespoon water

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the lamb and fry, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the cubes are lightly and evenly browned.

Add the onion, garlic and peppers to the pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the palm hearts and tomato puree and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin. Spoon the meat mixture into a large, deep ovenproof dish.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 CF (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a small mixing bowl, combine the eggs, melted butter and cheese and beat well to blend. Stir in the saffron mixture.

Pour the egg mixture over the lamb and vegetables, stirring well to blend.

Place the baking dish in the oven and cook the mixture for 35 to 45 minutes or until the mixture has set and the lamb is tender.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve at once.

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