Makes 8 servings
1 cup vegetable oil
2 kg lamb (with bone) divided into 8 pieces
4 onions cut in slices, medium size
2 tbsp chile powder (pure, not chili powder blend)
1 tbsp Libyan Turmeric
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Libyan Spice Blend
½ cup tomato paste
2 cups dry chickpea (soak for 24 hours in cold water)
1 kg couscous
8 cups boiling water
1. In a pot on low heat put the chickpeas and on top of the chickpeas put the sliced onion (save ¼ cup of sliced onions for later), do not mix in the beginning. Add 1 cup of hot water and let it boil on very low heat for 1 hour.
2. In another bowl, mix the oil, salt, chile powder, Libyan Turmeric, tomato paste, meat and the sliced onion that you saved.
3. In a separate pot. put 7 cups of hot water and add the mix you made in the bowl. Let boil for 1.5 hours (add hot water if needed). Just before the 1.5 hours are done add the black pepper and the Libyan Spice Blend.
4. Once the stew is ready, scoop 1 cup (liquid only) and add it to the chickpea and onion in step 1 after the chickpea is fully cooked and stir thoroughly.
5. Put the couscous in a bowl add 1.5 cups of room temperature water and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, mix it thoroughly.
6. Add couscous to the steamer basket and add the rest of the water to the pot (the couscous is usually cooked in a special designed pot similar to what is used for cooking pasta – pasta pot with steamer insert. If not available, it is ok to use the pasta one but make sure the sieves are not big so the couscous does not fall in the boiling water) and make sure that it cooks with the steam only for 15 minutes (make sure the boiling water does not touch the couscous).
7. Now after all is cooked and ready, scoop 2 cups of the stew (liquid only) and mix it with the couscous for taste and colour. Put the couscous in plates and on top add the stew, the chickpea and onion mix and then place a piece of meat on top.