L’ham Lahlou is a sweet dish from Algeria. Usually in Algerian cuisine we don’t cook sweet meat. However in this dish, the lamb is cooked in a syrup enriched by cinnamon and orange blossom water and complemented by fruits like dried prunes, dried apricots, apples and pears.
In Algerian culture, this dish is served on the first day of Ramadan and always at the end of the menu. The elders say, Lham Lahlou brings a sweet Ramadan.
Lham means meat in Arabic and Lahlou means sweet. You can also make this dish without meat if you want. It then becomes called Tajine Lahlou.
- 2 lamb shanks
- 1 generous tablespoons of butter
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water
- 300g of caster sugar
- 250ml of orange blossom water
- 500ml of water
- 300g of pitted dried prunes
- 300g of dried apricots
- 100g of golden dried raisins
- 1 apple
- 1 pear
- In a large bowl with warm water soak the dried prunes for 30 minutes.
- In another bowl soak the dried raisins for 30 minutes.
- In another bowl soak the apricots for 30 minutes.
- In a large pot add the butter, the sugar, the lamb, the cinnamon stick and the salt.
- Start to simmer the lamb on both sides on a high heat until the lamb are well browned.
- Add 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water and continue to cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
- Add the 300g of caster sugar, stir with a wooden spoon all the ingredients together
- Pour 500ml of water and cook for 30 minutes.
- Peel and cut the pears into quarters then cut out the core.
- Peel and cut the apples into quarters then cut out the core.
- After 30 minutes of cooking add the apples and the pears into the pot.
- Cook for another 15 minutes.
- Finally add the pitted prunes, the pitted apricots and the dried raisins and cook for another 15 minutes.
- When the sauce/syrup is thick, remove from the heat and allow to cool before serving.
Serve this dish into small plates. The fruits are very soft, and the lamb is tender and fragrant with the addition of cinnamon and orange blossom water. I suggest you to dip a piece of bread or brioche into the syrup to soak up the flavors.
Bonne dégustation, saha ftourkoum !
PS: This dish is also nice the following morning after all ingredients get soaked into the syrup overnight into the refrigerator.