Chwa, Moroccan lamb roast with cumin tomato sauce

Do you remember my Moroccan roomies from Barcelona and their amazing spicy recipes? Harira soup, Moroccan chicken, mint tea… Here is another of their recipes: lamb chwa. It is perfect for Easter time. And I think it would be so nice to serve a Moroccan specialty (a mostly Muslim country) at a big and important Christian feast. It is a way to stand for religious tolerance, melting pot and love of human kind.

Normally, chwa is barbecued on individual skewer sticks. Some people just thread some marinated meat chunks on skewers; I’ve been taught the minced meat version of it that looks like kefta. Instead of the individual skewers, I cooked it in a meat loaf shape in the oven, just like a big roast. I think it suits better to the sharing and generous Easter family spirit having a nice big meal at the center of table with some gooey spicy tomato sauce to dive in. You can serve the chwa Moroccan lamb roast with almost anything you like: sautéed, steamed or baked spring vegetables, fried or sautéed potatoes, Middle-East bulgur or semolina, or just some simple fresh bread to tear and dip in the spicy tomato sauce.

Moroccan lamb roast chwa with spicy tomato sauce

Makes 4 main courses

  • 25 to 28 oz of fresh lamb meat (leg or shoulder)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 30 saffron pistils
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pepper

For the tomato sauce

  • 6 fresh tomatoes during summer season or 2 cups canned tomato
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 piece of celery stalk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Olive oil

Prep the lamb roast

Mince all the ingredients in a food processor: lamb meat, onion, parsley.

Add olive oil, spices and give it a good mix.

Let marinate overnight in the fridge.

Prep the spicy tomato sauce

The day after, heat in a saucepan a drizzle of olive oil.

Add the peeled tomatoes cut into pieces. As it is too soon for fresh tomatoes, I used some preserved tomatoes I made last summer. It is so good and zero waste food!

Add the minced celery and spices. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Homemade preserved tomato sauce

Roasting the lamb chwa

Pour the tomato sauce in a baking tray.

On a plate, shape the Moroccan lamb roast with your wet hands and let it sit on the tomato sauce.

Add a drizzle of olive oil on top and bake for 20 minutes at 390°F.

Then turn the oven up to 430°F and let the roast turn golden brown 30 minutes more.

Slice the Moroccan lamb roast and serve it with the tomato sauce and the sides you like.

Slice of chwa, Moroccan lamb roast

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