Rick Stein’s lamb chorba

A chorba is a North African stew flavoured with ras-el-hanout, which is a mixture of whatever spices are popular in the particular area of Algeria or Tunisia that the dish comes from. I was introduced to it by an Algerian fisherman while we were filming the TV series. I added some harissa to mine for a bit of extra oomph.

lamb chorba
James Murphy


1 tbsp olive oil
675g lean, boneless lamb shoulder (or mix of leg and shoulder), cut into 2.5cm cubes
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp ras-el-hanout
1/2 tsp ground ginger
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
90g orzo pasta
handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
salt and black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the diced lamb, a batch at a time, and brown it all over; don’t overcrowd the pan. Add the red onion and garlic to cook for a few minutes until softened, then add the tomato and harissa pastes. Put the browned lamb back in the pan.

2. Pour in 1.5 litres of water and bring to a simmer. Add the ras-el-hanout, ginger, 1 . teaspoons of salt and the chickpeas, then cover the pan and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

4. Add the orzo pasta with half the chopped coriander and cook for another 10 minutes until the pasta is tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.

5. Serve garnished with the remaining coriander.

Get Rick’s book with 20 per cent off

rick stein secret france recipeRick Stein’s Secret France by Rick Stein will be published on Thursday 31 October by BBC Books, price £26. To pre-order a copy with free p&p for £20.80 until 10 November, visit mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155.