1/2 cup dried onion flakes or 1/4 cup onion powder
2 tsp cumin (whole) or 1tsp cumin powder
2 tsp anise (whole) or 1 tsp powder
2 medium cinnamon sticks or 2 tsp powder
1 heaping tsp pepper corns or 1/2 tsp powder
2 tsp powdered tomato
3 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
6 pitted dates (not too dry)
1 small tin tomato paste
3 medium onions or 6 small
vegetables of choices pealed and chunked: squash, cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes (yellow not orange) eggplant are all recommended.
2 lbs meat2
I would recommend having all the ingredients more or less ready to go into the pot before you start cooking.
To pre-prepare spices pound or grind the salt3, dried onions, cumin, anise, pepper, hot pepper, and cinnamon to a powder. Sift together into a bowl. If you are using powdered spices skip this step and measure the desired quantities of each into a bowl.
Wash and cut meat into chunks between 2 and 2 1/2 inches square it is fine if there are bones.
Put a large sauce pan on heat when the pan starts getting hot add Oil. Let the oil heat so that it makes crackling noises when the meat is added. Add rinsed meat to hot oil don’t worry about excess water it will be needed. Let meat brown a bit on outside.
While meat is browning add Tomato paste to bowl of spices mix together and add water to pour-able consistency.
Add tomato paste mixture to pot. There should be enough water in this to prevent sticking while it cooks a bit, if not add more water.
Add bay leaves.
Peal onions rinse and cut up into small chunks or strips drop in pot4.
Let this mixture simmer until meat is tender5, adding water as needed to keep from sticking to bottom of pot.
Remove seeds from dates and rinse (if needed) pound to a paste or at least a wad of even consistency. If dates are hard soak in hot water until they soften before mashing. Add to pot.
Once meat is tender add chunks of vegtables6 and more water to the point where vegetables are just covered or not quite completely covered by water. Add bullion cubes. Cover and let simmer until vegetables are tender7.
Taste to decide if more salt is need If so add now.
Sauce should be liquid but definitely thicker than water at this point. To thicken sauce, if necessary, you may mix a couple table spoons of flour or some corn starch in small amount of water and add to the sauce stirring constantly to avoid clumps. Let simmer partially uncovered until it thickens.
Serve hot on steamed rice, boiled pasta, or sop up with heavy bread. Experiment it is probably excellent on other grains.
1 All quantities are approximative and you should taste while you cook to decide if you want more or less of a thing. listed here are the spices common to the west. see the ingredients page to discover the more exotic spices.
2 Meat of any kind is acceptable goat, sheep, and cow are most common here although I have done it with chicken and pidgin and fish you could also try wild game: dear elk antelope. note wild game or elderly farm animals will require greater cooking time which is in fact ideal for this dish.
3 Avoid putting too much now as the sauce becomes more concentrated with cooking you can always add more at the end.
4 If you don’t like solid bits of onion pound in mortar and pestle first this will assure they have dissolved by the time the sauce is done.
5 You will be able to tell if meat is cooked as the oil will have completely separated and be floating on the thinker layer of sauce.
6 Chunks should be no more that 2 in square any more and it will take a long time to cook.
7 You may want to add certain vegetables sooner if they are known to take a longer time to cook.