May 21, 2024

thebeerhousecafe

World's finest Food

Lamb Stew • Family Recipe-Ali Nazik Stew{Video}• Two Purple Figs

If you think this is your average lamb stew, you’re mistaken! Ali Nazik is a unique lamb stew that’s very popular in Turkey and utterly delicious! This is another family recipe which I’m excited to share with you! Think about a show stopper lamb dish that will have everyone ask you for the recipe.

A large plate of lamb stew served over eggplant and yogurt to make Ali Nazik recipe, surrounded by red chilies, green chilies, lemon wedges, turkish pepper flakes, bread and tomatoes

I’m honored to partner with the American Lamb Board –your top resource for everything American lamb has to offer! Together, we’re sharing this historic Turkish recipe which dates back to the 16th century, and is very popular till this day!

What is Ali Nazik?

Close up of the chunks of lamb stew served over the eggplant yogurt mix. The lamb chunks are perfectly cooked

While by definition, Ali Nazik is a lamb stew, it is however so much more than that! It starts with tender chunks of lamb cooked in a sweet pepper,  tomato and chili flakes stew with onions, garlic and bay leaves. 

The lamb chunks are then served over smokey eggplants that are charred over direct flame. This can be done in your BBQ or by placing the eggplants directly over the flame of your gas stove. If you can’t do either of those, then you can also use your broiler for that charred flavor. 

The final layer of flavor in this Lamb stew comes from a garlicky lemon yogurt which is mixed with the charred eggplants. 

Ali Nazik combines all these unique flavors of lamb stew, smokey eggplant, bright lemony yogurt and hot chili flakes. So when I mention it as a show stopper dish, I really mean it! 

Every single person, literally everyone who tries this for the first time is intrigued by the flavors. There’s something about it that makes it so popular and I can’t wait for you guys to make it too!

Another bonus to this recipe is that it doesn’t use complex ingredients or involves any complex techniques.It’s super simple, yet the final dish tastes rich and complex. Watch the video below:

So here’s the step by step breakdown of making this show stopping recipe!

Lamb Stew Recipe Ingredients

Stew ingredients including turkish pepper paste, tomato sauce, garlic, stock and onions

There are basically two components to this recipe, the first is the lamb stew and the second is the eggplant and yogurt prep.

The yogurt blend with eggplant which is yopurt, garlic, eggplants and lemon juice

The best thing is that you can start by making the stew, and while the lamb is cooking, you’ll have just enough time to make the eggplant. So let’s break it down.

How to Make Lamb Stew

Well as always, I start by using American Lamb. You can check all my lamb recipes here  and you’ll notice that I don’t skimp when it comes to using American Lamb.

A plate of lamb chunks to make lamb stew surrounded by a bowl of turkish spices to spice up the lamb

American Lamb is absolutely the freshest you can get, and it is the tastiest in my opinion. Believe me, I know my lamb! So trust me on this one–you can not beat the fresh buttery sweet taste of American lamb. You just can’t!

For the lamb stew, you can use your favorite cut of lamb. It really depends if you prefer a higher level of marbling or a lesser one. I used a combo today because I love some marbling from the leg of lamb, yet I also love the lean sirloin. 

The Lamb tossed with spices in a bowl

The lamb is seasoned with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg (really classic Turkish lamb spices), along with some cayenne pepper (or Turkish chili flakes: pul biber).

Onions sauteeing in a pan to make lamb stew

To make the stew, start by sauteing your onions until they’re soft and translucent. Don’t rush this step as you want the sweet onions flavor, rather than the string astringent one.

the lamb is added over the sauteed onions

Now add in your spiced lamb chunks and garlic, and sautee for about 5 minutes.

All stew ingredients added into the pot and ready to cook over low heat

Then you’ll add turkish sweet pepper paste (biber salcasi) which you can find online or at ethnic stores. You can substitute that with roasted red pepper. Tomato juice or puree goes in, some stock and a bay leaf. At that point your lamb stew is ready to boil and then simmer over medium low heat until the lamb is tender.

A spoon showing the4 cooked tender lamb chunks in the lamb stew

In the meantime you’ll make the eggplant.

How to Make the Stew Sauce

A hand using a knife to poke the eggplant before charring

You’ll start by piercing the eggplant along the length of it, and this is to prevent it from exploding from the cooking steam.

The eggplants placed directly over the flame of a stove (or BBQ)

You’ll need to charr the outer skin of the eggplant and this can be done in three ways. The first one is placing the eggplant directly over the stove. This is what I’ve shown here and that’s how my grandma made it (unless she had her BBQ on).

Fully charred eggplants on a plate

The second way which is great and even more flavorful is to do so using a BBQ-charcoal is always preferred. 

The final way is using your broiler. You want to charr the outer skin of the eggplant so you’ll be rotating it every few minutes to get there.

Peeling the charred skin of the eggplant leaving in the soft cooked and smokey eggplant

Once the eggplant skin is really charred you’ll cover it with a plastic wrap to soften the skin. This allows you to peel it off easily and smoothly.

Chopped eggplants on a wooden board

After peeling, you’ll finely mince the eggplant using a knife.

The yogurt sauce ready in a bowl by mixing the yogurt, lemon and salt

The yogurt sauce is simply yogurt mixed with garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice. 

Serve Ali Nazik Lamb Stew

Your lamb stew is ready once it’s soft and most of the stock has been absorbed. Keep in mind this is not a saucy stew–you will have some sauce but very minimal. The amount of sauce is just enough to coat the lamb chunks, and you’ll have a bit more dripping on the sides.

The chopped eggplant is layered at the bottom of a dish to serve Ali Nazik lamb stew

To serve Ali Nazik, start by mixing the eggplant and yogurt together into one thick sauce.

The yogurt sauce is added and blended over the charred eggplant on a serving plate

You can add more chili flakes here, and even some fresh herbs (like parsley and mint) or you can leave it as is. My grandma always added the chili flakes and herbs on top rather than mixing it in, however I have had it at a few places where it was mixed in.

The Lamb stew layered over the yogurt eggplant along the center

You’ll then pile the lamb stew right over the eggplant yogurt mixture, classically along the center to allow the eggplant to shine on the sides.

The final touch is more chili flakes, fresh herbs, fresh chilies and lemon wedges.

How to eat Lamb Stew

A hand scooping with bread some lamb stew along with the eggplant yogurt mix to serve

Another unique aspect of serving this lamb stew is that you wouldn’t find it served with rice, potatoes or pasta. It’s mostly served with bread, and very rarely served with a rice pilaf. 

The bread is the best scooper for the luscious yogurt eggplant base and the succulent lamb stew. 

You’ll also find it lately served as is for a low carb meal because it’s super filling and tasty that you won’t really miss the carbs!

Lamb Stew Tips

  • Always use American Lamb for quality tasting lamb dishes. American lamb is always fresh, it’s raised with a high industry standard and it’s widely available! You’ll notice it has a rich buttery sweet taste.
  • When choosing the cut of lamb, make sure you know that the amount of fat marble in the cut will contribute to the taste of your dish. If you’re after a rich lamb flavor, choose only a devoted leg of lamb. If you’re in between, choose boneless shoulder meat. And if you’re up for a milder flavor and leaner cut, choose the lamb sirloin. If you’re like me and want the best of both worlds, choose a combo!
  • If you’re unable to find the Turkish chili flakes, feel free to use regular ones. Similarly with the Turkish red pepper paste.
  • It’s best to start with the lamb stew and while it cooks, you’ll have enough time to make the eggplant yogurt sauce.
  • Charring the eggplant is key to that unique smoky flavor of Ali Nazik–so don’t roast, fry or grill your eggplants. You want a really burnt charred skin which you’ll peel off and use the melt in your mouth eggplant.
  • You can add fresh mint and parsley to the yogurt along with more chili flakes.
  • It’s best to assemble the dish before serving to ensure it’s warm.
  • You can serve the dish as it for a light yet filling meal, or with bread or rice pilaf.
  • Leftovers are best served cold with a salad or warmed up slightly in the microwave.
  • You can prepare the lamb stew 3 days in advance along with the yogurt sauce. Make sure to assemble them right before serving.

A spoon scooping some lamb stew from the plate and scooping some yogurt and eggplant with it

I can’t urge you enough to try this unique recipe that’s complex tasting yet super simple to make! 

Family Lamb Recipes

Lamb Sausage

Boneless Leg of Lamb

Lamb Shoulder Chop Recipe

How to Cook Lamb With Moroccan Spice

Lamb Shanks with Skyr

Grilled Lamb Skewers BBQ Party

Ultimate Lamb Kabab Platter

Roast Lamb Shoulder Recipe

Roast Lamb And Chickpeas

Lamb Stew – Ali Nazik

If you think this is your average lamb stew, you’re mistaken! Ali Nazik is a unique lamb stew that’s very popular in Turkey and utterly delicious! This is another family recipe which I’m excited to share with you! Think about a show stopper lamb dish that will have everyone ask you for the recipe.

Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

Lamb

  • 2
    pounds
    American Lamb Chunks
    your favorite cut cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1
    teaspoon
    each salt and pepper
  • ½
    teaspoon
    nutmeg
  • 1
    teaspoon
    cinnamon
  • 2
    teaspoons
    chili flakes or turkish pul biber

Stew:

  • 1
    Tablespoon
    oil
  • 1
    large onion finely minced
  • 5
    cloves
    garlic
  • ¼
    cup
    Turkish pepper paste
    or 2 roasted peppers minced
  • ½
    cup
    tomato juice
    or pureed tomatoes
  • 2
    cups
    stock
  • 1
    bay leaf

Eggplant-Yogurt Sauce

  • 3-4
    Japanese eggplants
  • 2
    cups
    yogurt
  • 2
    cloves
    garlic
  • ¼
    teaspoon
    each salt and pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon

Garnish & Serve

  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Chili flakes
  • Fresh chilies
  • Bread

Instructions

  1. Start by seasoning the lamb with all the spices and set aside.
  2. Make the stew by sauteing the onions in oil until translucent and soft-this should take 6-8 minutes depending on the size of your onion mince.
  3. Add in the spiced lamb and garlic and sautee for another 5-6 minutes.
  4. Then add remaining stew ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Cover the stew and allow the lamb to cook over low heat (gentle boil) for 1 hour.*
  6. In the meantime, Prick the eggplants using a knife or fork.
  7. Place the egg plants directly over flame–stove, BBQ or broiler.
  8. You want the skin to be charred and black, and the eggplant will be soft.
  9. Cover the eggplants and set aside for 10 minutes until the skin has softened.
  10. Mix the yogurt with seasoning, garlic and lemon juice.
  11. Peel the eggplant and mince it using a knife
  12. Once the lamb is ready, serve the dish.
  13. Start by layering the eggplant and yogurt at the bottom of the plate, mixing them well.
  14. Serve the stew right on top of the eggplant yogurt mixture along the middle.
  15. Garnish with more chili flakes, herbs and lemon.
  16. Serve right away and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

*USDA recommends lamb reach an internal temperature of 145F with a 3 minute rest.

  • Always use American Lamb for quality tasting lamb dishes. American lamb is always fresh, it’s raised with a high industry standard and it’s widely available! You’ll notice it has a rich buttery sweet taste.
  • When choosing the cut of lamb, make sure you know that the amount of fat marble in the cut will contribute to the taste of your dish. If you’re after a rich lamb flavor, choose only a devoted leg of lamb. If you’re in between, choose boneless shoulder meat. And if you’re up for a milder flavor and leaner cut, choose the lamb sirloin. If you’re like me and want the best of both worlds, choose a combo!
  • If you’re unable to find the Turkish chili flakes, feel free to use regular ones. Similarly with the Turkish red pepper paste.
  • It’s best to start with the lamb stew and while it cooks, you’ll have enough time to make the eggplant yogurt sauce.
  • Charring the eggplant is key to that unique smoky flavor of Ali Nazik–so don’t roast, fry or grill your eggplants. You want a really burnt charred skin which you’ll peel off and use the melt in your mouth eggplant.
  • You can add fresh mint and parsley to the yogurt along with more chili flakes.
  • It’s best to assemble the dish before serving to ensure it’s warm.
  • You can serve the dish as it for a light yet filling meal, or with bread or rice pilaf.
  • Leftovers are best served cold with a salad or warmed up slightly in the microwave.
  • You can prepare the lamb stew 3 days in advance along with the yogurt sauce. Make sure to assemble them right before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Lamb Stew – Ali Nazik

Amount Per Serving

Calories 366
Calories from Fat 126

% Daily Value*

Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 5g31%

Trans Fat 0.01g

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 5g

Cholesterol 109mg36%

Sodium 955mg42%

Potassium 1225mg35%

Carbohydrates 26g9%

Fiber 8g33%

Sugar 15g17%

Protein 37g74%

Vitamin A 615IU12%

Vitamin C 13mg16%

Calcium 154mg15%

Iron 4mg22%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.