Almost Turkish Recipes

Middle Eastern Lamb Stew (Orta Doğu Usulü Kuzu Güveç)

The only best-results-guaranteed lamb stew recipe I have takes between 2-3 hours of cooking. So it's not a recipe for emergency cravings. Although it's very easy to make, you have to start 3 or 4 hours before the meal. That's why I consulted the recipe book that came along with my precious smart pressure cooker when I was craving lamb stew and was too hungry to wait for 3 hours. I got the pressure cooker and the recipe book almost two years ago, and although I used the cooker almost every other day I didn't check the recipe book for even once. It got dusted on one of the shelves. Although there was actually a lamb stew recipe in the book, my expectations were really low not only because it was one of those thin generic recipe books, but also the recipe was categorized too generally--at least for someone from the Middle East--as "middle eastern": what part of that region the recipe came from was a mystery. Anyways, despite the confusing geographical definition and my low expectations the recipe with a couple of additions and changes turned out to be just perfect.

1 pound boneless lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium onions, choppes
2 medium Chinese eggplants, peeled lengthwise in stripes and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1 can-14.5 ounces-petite diced tomatoes)
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper
salt and pepper

2-3 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped

-Heat the oil in big pot and brown the meat on all sides.
-Add onion, garlic, and eggplants. Cook until onion is soft.
-Add the remaining ingredients (except for yogurt and mint leaves). Season to taste.
-If you have a pressure cooker, cover and first bring to full pressure over high heat and then reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from burner and release the pressure.
-If you don't have a pressure cooker, bring to a boil. Then turn heat down to low. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes.
-In a bowl mix yogurt and mint leaves.
-Serve the stew with minty yogurt on the side or on the top.
-Get your bread toasted, because the juice of this stew is not to be wasted!

Honestly, at first I didn't get the minty yogurt sauce. Yogurt is always good and refreshing with heavy stews, but why fresh mint? But after I took a bite, everything was clear. That strong and refreshing mint flavor mingled with cinnamoned and cloved lamb is simply rewarding. And for that big change that little bit of fresh mint causes, I decided to post this recipe for Weekend Herb Blogging which was founded by Kalyn and is hosted this weekend by Anna of Morsels & Musings.


  1. I love lamb, and I think the idea of combining it with mint is a very good one! (Of course I love mint too.) Mint is something that I think might even be starting to come to life in my garden. It's sunny today, so I will have to look and see.

  2. Oh Oh Oh... This recipe is on my to-do-list! Burcu, this sounds so wonderful! I love the Turkish way of cooking lamb. Really really nice.

  3. YUM! I've been thinking of making lamb stew for some time. it looks delicious.

  4. It was indeed delicious. Do not skip on the minty yogurt though, that was a really nice twist on the taste

  5. Mint yogurt and cinnamoned lamb, a highlight! :)
    today it´s to warm here for a stew, but perhaps winter is coming back for a couple of days. Then I´ll give it a try.

  6. i love lamb and was looking for a stew from u for some time. thanks a lot.

  7. Wow, this seems to me as the perfect recipe! Love eggplants, lamb AND I do have a pressure cooker but lost the booklet that came with it and can´t really use it now. Thanks for this great recipe!

  8. I use a slow cooker for lamb. Turning it on in the morning with all the ingredients. By the afternoon, the whole house smells wonderful!