A rich, cozy winter favorite that I remember with nostalgia. Original brought to South Africa by the Dutch, but have clearly been influenced by the Cape Malay with an abundance of spices.  Everyone have their own version, feel free to play with the flavors, but this is my take on it. Be daring, you will not regret making this wonderful heartwarming stew.

You’ll need

  • 2 kg stewing lamb
  • 5-6 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger grated (roughly 3cm piece)
  • ---
  • Spices
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and pods discarded
  • 3 tsp garam masala or mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8 cloves (whole)
  • 2 big cinnamon sticks
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbs brown sugar
  • 500g cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 410g tin tomato puree
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste or sundried tomato paste
  • 750ml chicken/ vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbs apricot jam
  • Handful of fresh flat leave parsley roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. In a pestle and mortar, grind together the spices – garlic, coriander, cumin, fennel, peppercorns, cardamom, ginger, garam marsala and nutmeg. Set aside. (Do not grind the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cloves)
  2. Heat oil in large ovenproof pot (that comes with lid) to medium-high. Cover the lamb in a light dusting of flour and sear quickly on all sides, remove from pan. Add the onions and sauté until softened. Add the spices and mix through for about 30 seconds.
  3. Deglaze the pot with red wine and simmer for 1 minute. Place the seared lamb back into the pot. Add the carrots, various tomatoes (not the cherry tomatoes) stock, apricot jam, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, thyme and bay leaves. Check your seasoning and adjust.
  4. Put on the lid and place in the oven for 1½ to 2 hours until meat is softened. Add the cherry tomatoes about 30 minutes before the dish is done to get those bursts of freshness. Remove the cinnamon sticks and thyme before serving and scatter with the parsley.

Serve this dish with jasmine or brown rice, mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.

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