Tikourbabines or Semolina Dumplings in a Lamb Stew

In the middle of winter, there is no better way to warm up than with a hot bowl of soup or stew. They are packed with healthy nutrients and vitamins, often need little attention whilst cooking and can use up any cupboard or fridge ingredients. Your house will soon be infused with spicy aromas reminiscent of faraway, sunnier countries.
This recipe is inspired by a dish my mother used to cook. Tikourbabine is a hearty, wholesome stew, which originates from Kabylia, a beautiful region nestling between the Mediterranean and the mountains of Northern Algeria.
Tried & Tasted Recipe

For the stew:
  • Olive oil
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 400g lamb (neck slices or shoulder blade chops)
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 200g of chickpeas
  • 3 big carrots, cut into big slices
  • 1 or 2 courgettes, cut into big slices
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1tsp coriander powder
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 3 litres of chicken or vegetable stock

For the dumplings:
  • 500g semolina (medium-ground)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp salt
The night before, put the chickpeas to soak in some water. If you don’t have time or forgot to do this, just use tinned ones.
Fry onions and garlic until translucent.
Add the meat and brown on all sides.
Add spices and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and give all this a good stir.
Add the chickpeas, sliced carrots and stock and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
In a big bowl, mix semolina, salt, olive oil, grated garlic and mint.
Add some ladle of the stock from the stew, one at a time, to make dumplings the size of tennis balls. 
Be careful not to wet the semolina too much. But don’t panic if you have – just add some more semolina and olive oil. Delicately drop the semolina dumplings in the simmering stew and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
Add the courgette and let simmer until these are done.
Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander and serve.

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