Friday, 2 November 2012

Lebanese 7 Spice Lamb and Pepper Stew

Lebanese 7 spice lamb and bell pepper stew is served with rice and garnished with fresh mint

Lamb is one of the most popular meats cooked and eaten both in the Middle East and in North Africa. It is delicious roasted but it is also perfect for making in to a spicy stew. This lamb stew also incorporates mixed bell peppers and the deliciously spicy and tangy Lebanese 7 spice.

Principal ingredients for Lebanese 7 spice lamb and pepper stew

Ingredients (Serves Two)

3/4lb diced lamb
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 small yellow bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
Large clove of garlic
1 tsp Lebanese 7 spice*
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1 pint fresh chicken stock
Olive oil for browning lamb
6oz basmati or long grain rice
2 mint sprigs plus chopped mint to garnish

*Lebanese 7 spice is not something I have ever seen in an average supermarket. On this occasion, it was bought at a large, Asian speciality hypermarket in Glasgow. The good news is, however, that if you are having trouble getting hold of it, it can be bought both from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Vegetables prepared and chopped for lamb stew


Begin by preparing the vegetables. The onion should be peeled and moderately finely sliced. The garlic should be peeled and finely diced. The bell peppers should each be seeded and cut in to long strips between a quarter and half an inch in width.

Lamb for stew is browned in olive oil

Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in to a large stew pot and heat. Add the lamb and stir with a wooden spoon to brown and seal before adding the spices and seasonings, followed by the vegetables. Stir for a further couple of minutes.

Chopped vegetables are added to browned lamb and spices

Pour the chicken stock in to the pot. Bring the stock to a simmer for one hour or until the lamb is tender. Be sure to stir occasionally and keep an eye on the liquid level. It shouldn't be necessary but a little boiling water can be added if required.

Chicken stock is added to lamb and vegetables

Put the rice in to a fine sieve and rinse under running cold water. This removes a lot of the excess starch. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and add the rice. Bring back to a simmer, stir well and cook for ten to twelve minutes.

Rice is thoroughly rinsed before it is cooked

The rice could of course simply be served as a bed in the base of the plate. Here I have lined a couple of small bowls with clingfilm, prior to carefully draining the cooked rice through a sieve.

Clingfilm lined small bowl is used to shape rice

Pack the rice in to the bowls. Sit a serving plate on top of each bowl and carefully invert. Hold the edges of the plastic down tight with one hand and carefully lift away the bowl. The plastic should then easily peel free.

Rice is packed in to film wrapped bowl for presenting

Use a large slotted spoon to carefully arrange the stew around the rice on each plate. Garnish the rice with a sprig of mint and the stew with freshly chopped mint.

Spicy lamb stew is spooned around central bed of rice


  1. I'm cooking this right now. Smells delicious already and 45 minutes to go!

    1. Hi, Jim. Great! Hope you enjoyed it and thanks for letting me know

    2. Hi, I didn't see your reply until now, when I came to look for the recipe again. Yes, we enjoyed it! I made my own lebanese 7 spice powder from recipes on the web, and seeing it just now in the drawer reminded me that we ought to do your recipe again soon!

    3. Hi, Jim. Sorry for delay in getting back to you. Glad you enjoyed it. Making your own Lebanese 7 spice sounds interesting - I'll need to give it a try.