Thursday, November 26, 2009


Jordanian dish. THE Jordanian dish. Traditionally made with lamb, especially for special occasions, like Eid al Adha. "Yogurt sauce" is a really gross-sounding translation. Also, in case you were wondering, it's an example of what chemists call an emulsion; two immiscible solvent suspended with each other. Eggs are natural emulsifiers. It eventually separates into its components once it cools, assuming you made it right and it didn't separate sooner.

2 lb lamb chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 tbs butter
Cinnamon, tumeric, allspice, salt, pepper to taste
1 tbs cornstarch
1/2 glass cold water
1 egg
1 quart yogurt/leban/jameed*

Lightly brown meat in butter (semna). Add onion and spices. Sauté. Add water to 1 inch above meat. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer slowly until tender. Drain broth and set aside for the sauce.

Sauce: In a large pot, dissolve cornstarch in the cold water. Add the egg and stir well. Add yogurt a bit at a time, stirring constantly. Place on medium fire and continue stirring with wooden spoon, in the same direction, until yogurt boils. Dilute 1 tbs tahini with lemon and water until creamy and stir into meat broth and into the yogurt. Simmer sauce for about 1/2 hour. Serve with rice.

Serving: cooked rice needs to rest about ten minutes. Spread toasted bread over large plate. Rice on top of that, then lamb. Spoon sauce on top and garnish with pine nuts browned in butter. Almonds work too and are considerably cheaper these days. Serve remaining sauce like gravy.

*jameed, dried yogurt, needs to be soaked and rubbed down in water.

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