Week 46. Libya. Sharba Libya.

Yes there is a crisis happening in Libya right now, an uprising, a coup, a smash and grab job….but those fighters – they gotta eat!

It was a complete chance (I know I said that last week too) that I drew a very relevant country but what the hell, I wasn’t going to redraw just because you might think I’m doing a cheeky one to make this blog a bit more interesting/ on trend.

Thinking about what I was going to cook I had just one absolute rule I imposed on myself. No bloody Cous Cous. I know I cooked it when I did Tunisia in week 24  but I just find it hard to get too excited about and whilst a good tool for soaking up juice, it just ultimately bores me silly. I found Sharba Libya and initially wasn’t going to do it as it is another North African Soup (see Morocco) but it is very different to anything I have done before.

Sharba Lybia is really interesting and to many the National Dish. Probably the only soup I’ve had with Lamb in it, it also has pasta, mint, aromatic spices and a lot of heat.

Here’s a little step by step showing how I made it:

Ingredients:

  • 200g Diced Lamb
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 4 Ripe Tomato
  • 150g Chick Peas
  • Handful Parsley
  • Garlic
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 250 G Orzo Pasta
  • 2 TBSP Tomato Puree
  • 3 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tst Ground Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Ground Black Pepper

Make sure the Chick Peas are pre cooked.

In a heavy pan cook the onion for 5 minutes in oil

Add the Lamb and cook for a further 5.

Add the spices, garlic, diced tomato, chopped parsley, chilli and tomato puree

Add a couple of pints of water and let it all sweat for half an hour or so. Then add the pasta for another 15 minutes.

Season and serve. Add the mint as a garnish. Done. Nice. It is delicious and filling. It’s also low fat. It’s worth an hour of your time and I think there is a 7 out of 10 chance you would make it again off your own free will.

I need to think about how to blog next week as I’m away on a Stag Weekend. Masculine things. I’m not sure if the Groom knows what he is doing, or whether he reads this blog, so I better keep it under my hat but it will be Prehistoric for sure. Picture twelve men who are not in their 20s anymore, drinking like they are and staying up to hours us parents never see unless we are getting up for the day. We will love it…until Sunday when we are curled up on the sofa shivering whilst we watch TV and crying when Dot on Eastenders can’t find her house keys. This is where us rancid men choose to take ourselves and we love it. See you then.

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