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Akkoub stew: a close-up of this Palestinian recipe based on cardoons and lamb

Want to impress your guests with a little-known dish from far away? Offer them an Akkoub stew. A Palestinian recipe, particularly popular with the inhabitants of Nablus, its star ingredient is cardoon. We’ll tell you more about this wild plant, which is combined here with yoghurt and pieces of lamb.

Cardoon, a prized wild plant

Akkoub is the Arabic word for cardoon. A Mediterranean plant from the artichoke family, it needs sun to flourish. In the Middle East, cardoons grow in semi-arid regions, between plains and mountains. They are found in Palestine, but also in parts of Lebanon, Iraq and Syria. In spring, the cardoons are harvested, cleaned, stripped of their thorns and then put in the freezer by families to keep in stock throughout the year. In stews, omelettes or salads, Oriental cardoon is eaten with all kinds of sauces!

The taste of cardoon is similar to that of artichokes and asparagus. As for its properties, it is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and laxative properties.


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Lamb and cardoon stew: the recipe

Here’s a recipe using cardoons in jars, which are easier to find and simpler to make. But feel free to opt for fresh cardoons if you can!

Start by draining the cardoons and reserving the preserving liquid.

Then, in a saucepan, brown a chopped onion and pieces of lamb in olive oil. Once the meat is seared, add the cardoon liquid and water if necessary to cover.

Season with black pepper, salt and cinnamon. Simmer over a low heat for around 40 minutes.

At the same time, beat an egg with the yoghurt and cornflour. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and gradually bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

After the meat has cooked for 40 minutes, add the cardoons and yoghurt sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes over a very low heat, then serve hot with white rice. Yummy!

See also

5 gorgeous places to visit in Palestine

Published on 1 March 2024