Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  2. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  3. 1/2 cup warm water

  4. 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

  5. 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1- to

  6. 1 1/2-inch cubes

  7. 2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil

  8. 2 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced

  9. 1 small lemon (preferably Meyer), ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

  10. 4 garlic cloves, minced

  11. 1 rounded teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

  12. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  13. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  14. 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

  15. 1 cup dried figs, stems trimmed, quartered lengthwise (about 4 ounces)

  16. 2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth

  17. Crispy Noodle Cake

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Set strainer lined with double layer of cheesecloth over medium bowl. Place yogurt in strainer; cover and chill 3 to 5 hours to drain. Transfer yogurt to small bowl. Stir in mint; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.)

  2. Place 1/2 cup warm water and saffron in small bowl; let stand at least 20 minutes to infuse.

  3. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or add 1 tablespoon oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes with juice, figs, and lamb with any juices to pot. Stir to coat. Add 2 1/2 cups broth.

  4. Bring stew to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill.)

  5. Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide stew among 6 plates; top each serving with dollop of minted yogurt. Place wedge of Crispy Noodle Cake alongside each and serve.


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