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Cinnamon and Egyptian Safflower Spiced Lamb

by Spicie Foodie on July 26, 2013

Cinnamon and Egyptian Safflower Spiced Lamb Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #lamb #dinner

This blazing heat of summer inspired me to cook a dinner made with exotic ingredients. Lamb was to be the main flavour which would be complimented with aromatic spices common to North African cuisine, that’s when safflower came into the picture.

Spices for Safflower Spiced Lamb Dinner by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #cumin #ginger

Safflower is one of the oldest cultivated crop that has been used for its oil, cosmetics, medicine and for flavouring and dyeing food and textiles. Though similar looking to saffron, safflower is not the same spice. Often times safflower is used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron. One very important fact to mention is that the cost difference between the two is huge. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, whereas safflower is quite inexpensive.

Spices for Safflower Spiced Lamb Dinner by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #cumin #ginger

My safflower was a gift from a friend who purchased it for me on a trip to Egypt — lucky me. It is a great spice for adding some colour to a dish as well a a tiny hint of flavour. It compliments lamb, cinnamon, cumin and ginger wonderfully. Those spices are ever present in the cuisine of North Africa, as is lamb.

Spices for Safflower Spiced Lamb Dinner by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #cumin #ginger

To give the dish more nutrition and colour I added some fresh vegetables. Green beans, carrot and red peppers are all in season and gave the lamb a delicious taste. You could of course substitute them with your favorite seasonal vegetables. If you don’t like the taste of lamb, beef would be a great replacement. And if you don’t have access to safflower then paprika can be used in its place.

Spices for Safflower Spiced Lamb Dinner by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #cumin #ginger

Besides the amazing aromas that will waft through your house as the dish simmers, you’ll love that it is a one pot meal that can also be made in a crockpot. Here’s how you make it.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Cinnamon and Egyptian Safflower Spiced Lamb
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An exotic one pot dish (which can also be made in a crockpot) that is aromatic and bursting with flavor. Impress your family and/or dinner guest with a North African cuisine inspired dinner.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Lunch, Lamb
Cuisine: Fusion, North African
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1.5 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 200 gm or 7 oz boneless lamb, cubed and excess fat removed
  • 200 gm or 7 oz fresh green beans, tips cut off (frozen may be used instead)
  • 100 gm or 3.5 oz carrot, peeled and evenly cut
  • 200 gm or 7 oz sweet red pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp dried safflower*
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dried and ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt, adjust to taste
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, adjust to taste
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 235 ml or 1 cup water, more if needed
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and once warm brown the lamb pieces. Add all of the spices and stir for a minute or two or until they begin to release their scent. Add all of the vegetables, water and sherry wine. Cover and simmer until the lamb is tender, about 40 minutes. If the lamb is still tough add more water and continue to simmer. You may add more if needed or would like more broth.
Notes
*Safflower can be purchased at grocery stores, Mexican grocery stores, spice shops or online. If you cannot find safflower feel free to substitute it with 1 tsp of sweet paprika.


**Sherry wine can be purchase at your local store or online. Alternatively you can replace it with rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

 

Cinnamon and Egyptian Safflower Spiced Lamb Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #lamb #dinner

I served our dinner with rice and some buttery, spiced naan hubby purchased the day before. Alternatively it can also be served with couscous, or with either quinoa or millet for a gluten-free dinner.

Cinnamon and Egyptian Safflower Spiced Lamb Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #cinnamon #safflower #lamb #dinner

How ever you serve it, I hope you get a chance to taste this scrumptious dish soon. Have a great weekend!!

 

P.S
Here’s a couple more lamb recipes from my archieves.

 

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie

 

in Lamb

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa July 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM

That dish sounds absolutely wonderful! The use of safflower is really interesting.

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Spicie Foodie July 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Thanks so much Rosa! Have a great weekend.:)

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3 Ash- foodfashionparty July 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM

I have never tried safflower in dry form, I might have to order it online. The dish looks so tasty. Thanks for introducing me to this spice.
Interesting to read that they would use this instead of saffron. Wow.

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4 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I hope you can find it and give it a try soon, Ash. Thank you!

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5 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) July 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM

I have never cooked with safflower before – this looks awesome and now i am going to try to find some!

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6 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM

You should give it a try, Alyssa. Thanks!

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7 RavieNomNoms July 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM

What an interesting dish!

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8 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Thanks Raven!

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9 Laura (Tutti Dolci) July 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Fabulous spices in this dish! I’ve never used safflower but I can only imagine how wonderful your lamb smells as it cooks!

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10 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:04 PM

It did smell incredible, thank you Laura:)

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11 The Travelling Chopsticks July 26, 2013 at 7:15 PM

You know – I have never heard of safflower before, I thought it was a typo before I started reading :) LOVE lamb, what a great protein, and one that I don’t use enough – will definitly try this curry :)

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12 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:04 PM

Really, it’s used in Mexican cooking. Enjoy Alex.

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13 Roz July 26, 2013 at 8:39 PM

What a beautiful lamb recipe — delightful flavor combinations! Thanks for the YBR notice too, as well as for hosting it!

xoxo

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14 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Thank you Roz!

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15 Shema George July 26, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Such a flavorful dish.. Love the combination of ingredients. Great pictures as always. Keep up the great work!

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16 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Thank you Shema!

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17 Ann @Foodie in WV July 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I am a huge fan of lamb. When cooked right it melts in your mouth. This looks great, like always :)

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18 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Me too, it’s my favorite meat. Thanks Ann!

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19 Joanne T Ferguson July 27, 2013 at 3:39 AM

G’day Nancy!
Your photos and recipe look divine! TRUE!
I have now put this on my list to do! Thank you!
Cheers! Joanne

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20 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Thank you, Joanne! Enjoy the lamb.

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21 Victoria of Flavors of the Sun July 27, 2013 at 4:45 AM

I learned to appreciate cinnamon with lamb when I lived in the Middle East. Such a lovely combination. This recipe sounds delicious!

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22 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I can imagine so, you must have so many wonderful recipes from your time there. Thank you, Victoria!

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23 Eha July 27, 2013 at 6:13 AM

How interesting! Way back when I did use safflower oil at times but have never ‘met’ safflower itself! The cinnamon and cumin add taste of course but would so love to see what difference the safflower would make :) !

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24 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM

I haven’t used the oil, would love to though. Thank you Eha!

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25 Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today July 27, 2013 at 9:17 PM

I need one as well, so hot over here. I can hardly eat and drink all the time. But if you’re saying it’s good, I am convinced. Amazing pictures, as always.

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26 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Thank you Marta!

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27 claudia lamascolo July 28, 2013 at 3:43 AM

Photo is amazing along with the lamb! wow….

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28 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:07 PM

Thanks Claudia!:)

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29 Ramona July 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I want to try this dish so bad… I have never heard of dried safflower. I wish I could just stick a fork into the screen… YUM!

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30 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:08 PM

You should, Ramona. I think it would also be great with some chiles added to it. Hope you can give it a try soon. Thanks!

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31 john@kitchenriffs July 28, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I love safflower! Such totally terrific stuff. Lovely recipe and photos – thanks so much.

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32 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:08 PM

That’s great John, thank you!:)

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33 Irina @ wandercrush July 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Fascinating! The spices sound amazing to accompany lamb… Egyptian food is something I need to start cooking more of—I love everything I’ve tried so far. Thanks for the lovely recipe, as usual.

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34 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:09 PM

They worked wonderfully. I need to try some Egyptian recipes, would love to learn more about the cuisine. Thank you Irina!

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35 Faith July 29, 2013 at 2:57 PM

This is absolutely beautiful, Nancy. I love its complex flavor and I bet its aroma is deep and enticing…this is our favorite kind of meal around here!

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36 Spicie Foodie July 29, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Thank you so much, Faith!:)

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37 Patty July 30, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Love all your spices Nancy -it’s always great to find a recipe for lamb and especially one so gorgeous!

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38 Spicie Foodie July 30, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Thanks so much, amiga!

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39 mjskit July 31, 2013 at 4:41 AM

These one pot meals are irresistible! Lamb by itself has such a wonderful flavor and I just love the other flavors that you’ve added. What a lucky girl get to such a great gift of saffron.

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40 Spicie Foodie August 2, 2013 at 11:38 PM

I love one pot meals, makes busy days much easier. Thanks MJ!

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41 Victoria of Flavors of the Sun August 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Another great roundup, Nancy. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed linking to Memorie de Angelina, which is just such a terrific source of info about Italian food (I am half Italian!)

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42 Spicie Foodie August 14, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Thank you Victoria. I’m glad you found Frank’s blog, it is one of my favorites.

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43 ASHOK January 28, 2014 at 11:59 PM

i would like to ask you to make some southindian recipe let us see the photo

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