In the Arabian Peninsula country of Oman, preparing shuwa is an elaborate effort, involving roasting in an underground clay oven for 24 to 48 hours. This mini shuwa can’t quite match that tasty way of preparing meat and is only an easily made replica — but it’s great for an Eid dinner. The Muslim holiday starts Sunday.
• 8 cloves garlic, crushed
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1/2 tsp ground cloves
• 1/2 tsp chili flakes
• 4 tbsp cooking oil
• 2 tbsp vinegar
• 1 leg of lamb, from 5 to 6 pounds, with punched holes in a few places
Thoroughly combine all ingredients, except lamb leg, then rub over lamb leg, forcing some of the liquid into the punched holes. Marinate in refrigerator overnight.
Place in a roasting pan and cover, then roast in a 250 F pre-heated oven for 3 to 4 hours or until leg is well cooked, basting from pan juices every 30 minutes and turning over once or twice. Uncover and roast at 350 F for 20 minutes, turning over once.
Carve and serve while hot with cooked rice.
– Habeeb Salloum is a freelance writer and author of the cookbooks Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead: Recipes and Recollections; Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa; and From the Lands of Figs and Olives: Over 300 Delicious and Unusual Recipes from the Middle East and North Africa.