Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Nokaw (Lamb and Chickpea Soup)
By Abdullah – Kurdistan
"This is a very famous Kurdish recipe, but everyone makes a different version. My mum would make this once a week back home. When I moved here, I called her on the phone and she taught me how to make it. Ribs are the best thing to cook with chickpeas – they make the dish more delicious.
When I cooked Nokaw for the first time I didn’t know how long to cook it for and when I opened the pan it was completely dry. I put more water in, but it had lost the taste. And sometimes I forget to soak the chickpeas the night before so I can’t make it.
I make it for myself every two weeks now. It’s so delicious. When I invite friends over they always ask me to cook it for them."
· 125g dried chickpeas
· 1 onion, peeled
· 3 garlic cloves, peeled
· 50g kidney fat (or 3tbsp vegetable oil)
· 500g lamb (ribs, shank or chops)
· ½tsp chilli powder
· ½tsp turmeric
· 2 dried limes
1. Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight. Rinse in clean water. Drain.
2. Chop the onion and garlic finely.
3. Put an empty pressure cooker on the heat for 2 minutes. Add the kidney fat and wait until it melts before adding the lamb, or add the oil and heat. Fry the meat until brown. Add the onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned.
4. Carefully add 1 litre hot water, the chickpeas, chilli, turmeric and salt. Make several small holes in each of the dried limes and add to the pan.
5. Place the pressure cooker lid on securely, increase the pressure over a high heat and then turn the heat to low and cook for 40 minutes. Gradually reduce the pressure before opening.
6. To cook without a pressure cooker, bring the soup to a boil, without adding the chickpeas. Then simmer in a covered pan on a low heat for about 2 hours 30 minutes. While the lamb is cooking, boil the chickpeas on a high heat for 10 minutes, then add to the soup for the last 45 minutes of its cooking time.
7. Serve with soft bread rolls.