I was drawn to this dish because of it’s simplicity, the nutritional profile and blood building properties of lamb. See, us females have a tendency to deficiency of blood – and I’m no different. We burn up our blood stores though stress, work, high emotions, physical blood loss, and me, well study depletes me the most. Being blood deficient can cascade to many other ailments – I will tend to anxiety and insomnia if I allow my blood (physical and energetic) to wane. You might get terribly lethargic, have dry skin, hair, nails, get tired eyes and/or floaters, be highly emotional, unable to cope in general, be pale, listless, have menstrual problems or can’t fall pregnant, physical and emotional rigidity, sweat profusely at night, just to name a few.
One of the best blood building foods is lamb, so I try to get lamb into my diet a couple of times a week – that’s really all we need, not buckets of the stuff. It doesn’t always happen with me, because I have a vegetarian bent to my nature, so I have to be conscious of it, especially after the menstrual cycle when blood has been lost and the cycle is in the yin-building phase.
You might also like this dish for it’s other health-promoting properties:
- Chlorophyll rich fresh herbs have that incredible anit -bacterial, -viral -inflammatory action.
- Lashings of garlic and lemon themselves are rich in vitamins, anti-parasitic, alkalising.
- Lamb is warming and a blood building food in Chinese medicine.
- And legumes like chickpeas combine well with sesame seeds complete the amino acid profile, which in turn forms complete proteins.
- Great light dinner option.
- Excellent for left overs: Place 2 pieces of super thin Mountain Bread - or pita if you prefer – in a flat sandwich press* slather on hummus, lamb and lemon sauce pre-mixed in a bowl. Roll and toast until crisp.
Now for the recipe….
Hummus kawarma (lamb) and Lemon Sauce
by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi (sourced from Jerusalem)
1 x 400g tin of chick peas (or cook your own)
1/2 c. mild tahini
4 Tbls lemon juice
1 – 2 cloves garlic
300g neck fillet of lamb, finely chopped by hand
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp all spice (subst. with 3 cloves ground)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg – fresh is best
1 tsp za’atar (subst. dried oregano)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley
1 tsp salt
Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 green chilli, finely diced
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
Olive oil, for cooking the lamb
Kawarma: place all ingredietns in a bowl, mix well and set asside for at least 30 mins.
Make the hummus: Blitz ingredients in a blender until smooth. The longer the better to get a nice fluffy smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl and clean the blender
Make the lemon sauce: In the blender add all ingredients and blitz until herbs and garlic chopped.
Back to the kawarma: heat olive oil in a pan and cook the meat, stirring as you go. The recipe I went off said the meat should be slightly pink, but I like my meat well cooked and even put the lid on to steam the flavours into the meat.
Serve with toasted pine nuts and dotted with a few reserved whole chickpeas.
*A little side not on a sandwich press. These devices are wonderful and so versatile. Every workplace I go into I request one (if there isn’t one already) since they make a wonderful alternative to a microwave for heating food. No, you can’t heat soups in them, but messy foods like curry and pilaf – or this wonderful dish – can be rolled up in some good quality flat bread, toasted and really enjoyed. The other great thing is you can grill haloumi on them too, re-heat homemade pizza (just set the handle to ‘toast’ mode so it grills the top and crispies up the bottom). Do make sure you have good workplace etiquette and wipe it down with a damp cloth or paper towel afterwards.