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A quick, flavorful  and tender Middle Eastern Lamb Stew that can be made in an Instant Pot using the pressure cooker setting (or bake in the oven). Serve over basmati rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice! 

Instant Pot Middle Eastern Lamb stew

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


Instant Pot Middle Eastern Lamb Stew with chickpeas and fragrant spices- a simple flavorful wholesome meal. Serve over quinoa, basmati rice or cauliflower “rice”. |


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, butter or ghee
  • 1 ½1 ¾ pounds lamb stew meat ( shoulder, leg or shank) cut onto 1 ½  inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 46 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of each: salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin seeds ( seeds are optional, add another teaspoon ground cumin if no seeds)
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes ( Aleppo Chili flakes are nice) and more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1  1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 x 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup raisins or  dried apricots (chopped), or even dried currants

Serve with cooked quinoa, couscous or basmati rice & garnish with fresh Italian parsley or cilantro leaves and extra chili flakes.


Turn the Instant Pot on and set it to the Sauté function. Heat the butter or oil and saute the onions for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the lamb, garlic, salt and all the spices and saute for 5 more minutes until fragrant. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, stock, chickpeas and raisins and stir until combined.

Cover and set the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker)  to  pressure cook setting for 50 minutes on normal/high. Naturally release.

Let the pressure release and give a stir. The lamb will be tender and break apart easily. If you prefer it less juicy, return to saute function and cook off some of the liquid. ( Note that it will thicken a bit as it sits)

Serve over quinoa, rice or cous cous with some fresh cilantro or parsley.

The leftovers taste even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld.


Alternatively you can cook this on the stove top in a oven proof dutch oven. Pre heat the oven to 325. Brown the onions in the ghee or butter then add the garlic, lamb, salt and spices, cooking for 5 -6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients – all except the raisins,  and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven and bake 2 hours, adding the raisins about an hour or 1 ½ hours into the baking time.

After two hours the lamb will be very tender. If you like a little more browning, give a quick broil to the pot uncovered.

LAMB: This recipe is designed for “tougher” cuts of lamb- shoulder, leg, etc., that need longer cooking times to tenderize.  Please don’t waste already tender lamb chops or lamb loin on this recipe. You can also use beef stew meat or even goat.

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