Marak Laham, Salona Laham, Meat Stew

This delicious stew is a regular lunch staple at my home.  I use lamb because this is preferred by us at home and when I cook with lamb the meat is more tender.  You could use beef if you wish but here in the UAE the beef available never cooks tender no matter what method I use to cook it.  It always turns out chewy and stringy.  

The stew is very versatile in that you can cook it with or without vegetables and you can make it is thick or thin as you like.   It can be served with plain white rice or flat bread. 

I finally got around to taking pictures and uploading them.  Much more pleasing to the eye and you will know what the end product will look like!  I will try do that to all the new recipes I post from now on, InshaAllah.


2 cups of chopped purple onions

2-3 cloves of minced garlic

1-inch cube of ginger, grated

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 medium-sized capsicum (green bell pepper) chopped

½ cup finely chopped parsley


¼ cup corn oil

1 kilo lamb stew meat with bone, cubed into 2-inch piecesDSC00032

1 ½ teaspoons Madras Curry powder


1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground loomi aswad

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground red kashmiri chili powder

2 cubes of Maggi Chicken stock


1-2 green chilies, whole

1 loomi aswad (dried black lemon), whole

¼ cup tomato paste

1 ½ liters of water (about 6 cups)

* Potatoes, calabaza squash, zucchini, okra, carrots (see the star below)

Salt to taste

In a medium-sized cooking pot, heat the corn oil.  When hot add the chopped onion.DSC00031

When the onion is translucent, add the lamb cubes.  Stir often and sauté the lamb until it is nicely golden brown on all sides.


Add the minced garlic and grated ginger.  Stir to mix.

Add the chopped tomatoes and all of the ground spices.  Mix together and sauté until the tomato becomes very soft (like a mushy consistency).

Add the capsicum/bell pepper and the chopped parsley.  Stir.


Add the tomato paste and water.  Stir.


Add the green chilies and the whole piece of loomi aswad.

Bring the stew to a boil and then lower the flame to very, very low.  Let the stew simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours or until the lamb is tender.

After the lamb is tender, the liquid level should be at half the pot.  At this point you will need to add more water or boil until the liquid level is half of the pot.

* You can now add your vegetables.  For my large family, I will usually add 3 large potatoes.  Each potato is quartered and added to the pot after the lamb becomes tender.   If you wish to add a mixture of vegetables you can use:

                1 large potato, quartered

                1 carrot cut into 1 ½ inch chunks

                1-2 small squash

                Potatoes and carrots are the usual combinations though that I have


If you add vegetables to your stew, you will need to add approximately 30 minutes to the cooking time.

After adding the vegetables, bring the stew to a soft boil and after 10 minutes, taste and adjust for salt.  When I cook with potatoes I will add an additional 1 teaspoon of salt (but this is for my family).  Softly boil for an additional 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.


Your stew is now ready to enjoy!  Serve with plain Basmati rice or Khobuz Irani (if you are in the UAE) and a nice green salad made from a mixture of local-grown greens!


12 responses to “Marak Laham, Salona Laham, Meat Stew

  1. mashaAllah that is just beautiful! Am so hungry now 😛

  2. Yes, MashaAllah, it is good especially with just khobuz.

  3. Can i please get the recipe of the emirati dish called Farred.
    Kind Regards

  4. Salaamu alaykum
    I love your website, i love the emirati recepies . Do you have any emirati recepies more on curries. Like Meat, fish and chickem curry?

    warm regards

  5. Wa Alaikum Salaam Noora 🙂

    I will try my best to post more curry-like recipes. I do have some. Please check back. Thank you for taking the time out to visit and comment 🙂

  6. Salaamu alaykum MaryAnn.
    Thanks for the wonderful website I am enjoying cooking your dishes and everybody love it)))))
    I have a question can you tell me plz if it’s possible to cook this dish with the chicken instead of lamb (beef)???? It’s just happens sometimes that I have a chicken around but I don’t a have meet))))) so I was wondering if it’s possible to substitute? Did you ever try it??
    Thanks again for your recipes, and especially for the Basmati Rice finally I learned how to cook it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    InshAllah you will upload your new recipes soon……………..

  7. Wa Alaikum Salaam,

    Thank you very much for your lovely comment 🙂 Yes you can substitute a 1 kg chicken for the lamb. I would also add some tomato paste (1-3 tablespoons to your liking) and the juice of 1 lemon (optional). Hope you enjoy it with the chicken just as much.


  9. Hello Miles, If you live in the UAE you can find “loomi aswad” (black lemon) in most supermarkets in the spice aisle. It will come in whole form, which is a dried black lemon, or in powder form. I use the powder in most of my cooking. If you do not live in the Middle East region, the best bet would be to find a Middle Eastern food store. Good luck and I hope that you enjoy the recipe 🙂

  10. Fantastic your husband is lucky to have a great chef in his home

  11. The receipes were ausome the thareed my favourite

  12. I LOVE ur blog. I live in Dubai, and have been searching for Emarati recipes (and they are not easy to come by)…. Thanx a ton for this treasure trove.

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