November 22, 2015

Tavas - Cypriotic Lamb Stew

There is lot in common between Shibin and I.We love to travel and we love to try out new cuisines. The traditional gastronomy of the places enthuse us and we make sure we study it before we head out there. Our travel to Cyprus was no less. We came across an exciting array of cuisines primarily comprising of meat and potato.

If you go to Cyprus and you are not sure what to eat,head into a traditional Taverna and order the Meze. The Meze like the Kashmiri Wazwan consists of several small dishes starting with the salad and course by course servings of pita bread and Tahina, Pastitsio, Souvla, Sheftalia, Kleftiko, Aflia, Tavas and may be even grilled Halloumi cheese. If you are baffled by the number of dishes in Meze, you will be even more baffled by the huge portions they serve.

I definitely had to try out one of the dishes and I chose Tavas. The original recipe is from Mr.Xenios' wife-the owner of the cottage where we were staying. She had prepared this for us on our last night in Cyprus and it was simply adorable.

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Tavas is more like a cypriotic version of the Indian curry with cumin seeds and pepper as the spices slow cooked in the oven.  The traditional preparation uses Oregano, however I have not used it here. To give it an Indian touch , I have added 1 tbsp of chilly powder.

Ingredients
  1. Lamb - 1 kg
  2. Baby Potato - 1 kg
  3. Tomato - 1/2 kg
  4. Onion - 2 big
  5. Parsley - 1 bunch
  6. Cumin seeds - 4 tsp
  7. Pepper powder - 4 tsp
  8. Herbs - 2 tsp(optional)
  9. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  10. Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
  11. Water - 1 cup
  12. Salt

Method

In a deep baking dish, bring together the lamb, potatoes and onions. All of these need to be chopped in big chunks. To this, add crushed cumin seeds, pepper powder, chilly powder, herbs and salt. Drizzle olive oil and toss it well.

Pour in 1 cup water into this (add more water if you need more gravy).Then, layer the dish with chopped parsley and  top it with tomatoes cut in rounds. Pre-heat the oven for 20 minutes and cover this cooked at 200 degrees for 2 hours .Uncover it after two hour, stir it and cover uncooked for another 1 hour at 180 degrees.

Once done, let it rest for a while covered. Then serve it with Pita bread/ Roti or bread.

Enjoy every bite as you dig into the succulent lamb and potatoes.

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