Bahrain Ghoozi

First, create the Ghoozi spice mix. Combine all these ingredients together.

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (if you don’t have some, extra cinnamon and allspice mix will do)

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn’t have any so I used nutmeg)

 

Now, the good part.  The lamb!!

INGREDIENTS

2 pieces of lamb backstrap fresh from the butcher

basmati rice (however much you want)

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 orange, quartered with no rind

3-4 garlic cloves

2 Tbls cardamom

2 Tbls cinammon

1/2 of the above ghoozi spice you made above

1 cinammon stick

8 cardamom pods (which I didn’t have, so I did a dash of fenugreek for fun)

1 Tbls all spice

3 Tbls pomegranate molasses

3 Tbls oil

Almonds

Cashew Nuts

Pine Nuts

 

Heat oven to 400*

Combine onion, carrot, and thyme.  Mix well and line the bottom of a glass baking pan (or in my case, I used a turkey bag for cooking) with this mix.

Combine bay leave, orange (with juice), garlic cloves (whole), cardamom, cinnamon, 1/2 ghoozi spice together in a bowl with 1/2 cup of water.  Lay lamb strips in the mix and let soak while you prepare the rice. Rub the ghoozi mix around and into the meat.

In a rice cooker or on the stove, prepare at least 2 cups of basmati rice.

Now that the oven is heated and the rice is preparing, lay the lamb mix over the onion/carrot/thyme and put into the oven for 20 minutes.  If you’re not using a turkey bag, make a tent over the dish with some aluminum foil to prevent burning.

While lamb is roasting and rice is cooking, add the oil to the bottom of a non stick frying pan and lay the cinnamon stick in the oil. Lightly cook until the cinnamon stick has flavored the oil (the stick will change colors and start to crack). At this point, the lamb should be done with first phase of roasting.  Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake lamb for an additional 20-30 minutes (not too long, keep an eye on it and baste as needed). Take the lamb out briefly, drain lamb juices from your cooking ware into a measuring cup.  Do not drain it all.  Drain about half of what you see. You don’t want the lamb to dry out!  This is special lamb.

Pour the lamb juices into the pan with the cinnamon stick flavoring.  Keep the cinnamon stick in the pan, for now.  Add the cardamomo pods (or fenugreek).  Add the remaining 1/2 of ghoozi spice mix.

At this point, your rice should be done.  Combine your rice with the lamb juice/spice mix you just made.  Mix in well.  Then add the pomegranate molasses and any additional lamb juices that are spare in the bottom of the pan (again, not all!).  Add almonds, pine nuts, and cashes to taste.  You may want to toast the nuts first, depending how you like them.  Stir these ingredients together in the rice mix.

Now, your lamb should be done.  Take out the lamb, lay it over rice and enjoy!  It will smell AMAZING.

Stark and I made this dish together for the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix.  We enjoy making dishes that are popular and particular to each country.

This is a dish I made up after researching a few different recipes here:

http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/foodanddrink/quozi-an-iraqi-lamb-recipe-from-chef-philip-juma-for-christmas-a3142931.html

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/moroccan-spice-blend-109356

 

 

 

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