Saturday, 29 October 2011

Lamb, Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew with Raisins: Tbeikhet 'Eid طبيخة عيد

This recipe was featured on My Halal Kitchen's post on Traditional Eid Foods

 This pumpkin stew requires no special ingredients, yet has an exotic taste, with the perfect combination of flavors and textures. The pumpkin and raisins give this stew a hint of sweetness typical of savory specialties in Eastern Libya, where aromatic spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and especially shaiba leaves are used more often than hot spices and turmeric. This stew is from the town of Derna. Known as Eid Stew, it is made on feast days as a distinctive flavorsome dish suitable for special occasions yet very easy to put together. This recipe is perfect for Halloween.  For dessert pumpkin and bechamel pudding is a tried and tested favourite.

 Serves 4

4 servings of lamb, bone in, washed and drained
1/2 kilo pumpkin. peeled and cut into medium cubes
1 medium onion,  finely chopped
4 tablespoons clarified butter (samn/ghee) or oil
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup raisins 
1 can crushed sieved tomatoes or 2 tablespoons tomato puree disolved in 2 cups water
10 cloves
5 bay leaves 
3 cinnamon sticks or 2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon ginger
A few shaiba leaves, known as dagad phool in Indian cuisine (optional)
Salt to taste

In a heavy base pot put ghee, onions, lamb and add ground and whole spices then cook on medium heat. Stir constantly until the onion softens and the oil/ghee is infused with the spices. 

Add the sieved crushed tomato and leave on low heat for  about 10 minutes, then add about 2 cups of boiling water and cook on medium heat unitl the lamb is well done (45-60 minutes).

Add the pumkin, raisins and cooked chickpeas, cover the pot and cook for a further 30 minutes. Add water when needed, but a little at a time so the sauce is concentrated. 

Serve hot with warm tanoor bread to soak up the sauce. 


  1. All of your recipes look amazing! I'm a Muslim convert of two years and I was introduced to Islam by some Libyan friends. Of course they opened their homes to me many times and filled me with delicious Libyan food. Unfortunately most of them have moved away, so I'm hoping I can replicate some of the cuisine by following your recipes! I love your site--it's very well done. Masha'allah. And my Allah be with you.

  2. Do you have a recipe for the sausages made from lamb meat on Eid Al-Adha (I forget what they're called)?

  3. Thank you Ellen, always great to know our recipes are actually being used! Do let us know how the recipes you try turn out.

    As for the recipe request, do you mean Osban? We have a recipe for Osban which are Libyan rice filled sausages with lamb meat, heart and liver.

    You can adapt the filling by omitting the offal and just using herbs, rice and lamb meat.

  4. WOW you stirred my memory! A faded memory of me eating this Tabikha! Mom used to cook it this way in Eid in her early marriage days, I believe Dad asked her to change it to his family's tradition: Tabikht patata. The difference from ordinary stew day is on Eid we stew it with ghee :) &Cinnamon. Later in my life I came to add chikpeas which is tastier with.
    Thank u, I always enjoy being here, yours is an exceptional blog.

  5. A belated Eid Mubarak naohama, thanks for visiting our blog and for your comments!

    So this pumkin stew is truly a memorable dish :) do tell us if you remember your mothers recipe, variations are always welcome.

    Most Libyan families have an Eid stew tradition, we make both pumkin and white bean stew to satisfy everyones 'siber'.

  6. Oh I love this dish so much mashAllah. Pumpkin is one of my favorite things to cook with in savory and sweet and I LOVE using shaiba leaves as well.

  7. Pumkin is a favourite of ours as well, and in the Arab world only Eastern Libya uses shaiba leaves as extensively as in the Gulf. They don't have a distinctive overpowering flavour so can be ommitted, but e.g Libyan soup with shaiba leaves was something really special in my grandmothers time when the only source was what pilgrims brought back from Haj.

  8. What a great recipe! I really cannot wait to try this at home. I am new to your site and Libyan cuisine and can't wait to try it!

  9. this is a traditional recipe ..we still it.. no eid without tbekhet el eid :)
    good job