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Cuisines of the Motherland: North African Lamb and Chickpeas Stew with Courgettes

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Recipe for Moroccan Lamb stew with courgettes. Recipe for how to cook North African dishes.

The continent of Africa is the second largest landmass on Earth, with 53 countries making up this continent; it is home to hundreds of different cultural and ethnic groups. The culinary traditions in Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa are very diverse in with respect to ingredients, preparation and cooking styles as well as how meals are consumed.

North Africa lies along the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by several nations, to include Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Mauritania, and Egypt. The cuisine and the culinary style of North Africa can be traced back more than 2000 years. Most of these countries have several dishes, usually consisting of meat, vegetable and spices, which are almost the same with a different name and similar ingredients but may be cooked in a slightly different way; Moroccan palace cookery has a sophisticated, full-bodied flavor, where as Tunisian cuisine boosts dishes with a fiery nature, Egypt and Algeria’s cuisine is of a more humbled and simple preparation.

Courgettes (zucchini)- member of the cucumber family

This North African, Lamb Stew, recipe is influenced by the cuisines of Egypt and Tunisia. It can also be prepared with either beef or pork, and is usually served with Harissa, (Tunisian hot chili sauce), and any crusty bread, This can also be cooked in Crock pot , brown meat and add everything to crock pot, cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. If you cannot find Cougettes, small zucchinis or any firm squash will work.

Lamb and Chickpeas Stew with Courgettes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

  • 1 quart chicken stock or broth

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon allspice

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 carrots, peeled, cut 1/2 inch

  • 4 white or russet potatoes, peeled, cut 1/2 inch

  • 2 cups courgettes, remove tops and tails, cut 1/2 inch


  1. Trim off any surplus fat and season meat with salt and pepper, cut meat into 1 inch cubes, set aside.
  2. Bring oil to hot in 2 quart Dutch oven, saute onions and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent, remove to bowl. Add seasoned lamb cubes and brown on all sides.

  3. Return onion and garlic to Dutch oven, add the drained chickpeas, stock, tomato paste, turmeric, allspice and bay leaf Add stock, give it a good stir, bring it to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

  4. Add the carrots, potatoes, and courgettes, season with salt and pepper to your taste, simmer, uncovered, for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Serve with a good crusty bread


To thicken stew:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of tepid broth, mix to a smooth consistency and add to stew, occasionally stirring.
  2. Vegans/Vegetarians: use vegetable stock, firm Tofu (cut 1 inch chunks), use arrowroot for thickener, and follow recipe as written.


  Harissa Recipe




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Francina Marie Parks

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