Shish-Barak Lamb Dumpling Stew is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that consists of ravioli-like dumplings filled with seasoned lamb and onions, cooked in a savoury yogurt stew. The unique flavour of the cooked yogurt, garnished with sautéed crushed garlic and fresh coriander, is an acquired taste.
This recipe is divided into three simple steps: preparing the meat filling, rolling the dumplings, and cooking them in the yogurt sauce. As a child, I loved eating Shish-barak lamb dumplings stew, but the long preparation time put me off helping my mother make it. But as a mother myself, I have found a way to simplify the recipe by using ready-rolled puff pastry and boiling water for the yogurt sauce, making it a quick and easy option for anyone short on time.
Additionally, you can make the dumplings ahead of time and store them in the freezer, making it an even more convenient option. Furthermore, for a more substantial meal, perfect for hungry teenagers, this can be served with vermicelli rice pilaf or lentil rice pilaf. “
To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 3-5 minutes. Add the lamb mince and stir until lightly browned and the mixture is soft but not dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the puff pastry sheets in a circle shape, using a cutter or the bottom of a small coffee cup (you can choose to make smaller or larger dumplings). Add ½ -1 teaspoon of filling (depending on the size of the pastry round), then fold the dough and twist it to look like tortellini.
To make the yogurt sauce, whisk all ingredients until combined. Place the pot on high heat until the yogurt begins to boil. Keep on stirring continuously in the same direction. As the yogurt mixture heats up and comes to a boil (this will take approximately 5-7 minutes),
Gently add the shish-barak dumplings to the yogurt sauce. Lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until all is cooked through stirring occasionally (stirring every now and then will prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot).
Heat the extra olive oil together with the garlic and cook until the garlic softens a little bit. Add the cooked garlic to the yogurt stew and simmer for a further 5 minutes uncovered. Add the chopped coriander and serve immediately.