Lessons from my Grandma
This Moroccan Lamb Risotto is inspired by one of my favorite dishes made by my grandma. Ever since I was little, communicating with my relatives in Morocco was difficult because we spoke different languages. My grandma specifically grew up in a small village outside of Marrakech and only speaks Berber and some Moroccan Arabic; I only speak English. The one thing that we were always able to connect through was food.
Every summer I visited her in Morocco I would spend hours in the kitchen watching her chop herbs, grill fish and squeeze lemons. I learned so much from someone I barely spoke to; those lessons and hours spent together are part of why I love food and cooking so much.
I sometimes feel pressure when exploring with Moroccan cooking, because I’ve got some big shoes to fill. Especially with this recipe. If I could teleport you to my grandma’s apartment in Rabat and have her make you the real deal, let’s just say mine can’t compete. But I’m pretty proud of what I created! This Moroccan Lamb Risotto combines creamy risotto cooked in fresh tomatoes with tender lamb, fresh herbs and caramelized onion. I used the instant pot for this recipe but you could easily use a normal pot and cook the risotto by slowly adding the liquid as you stir.
Gluten Free Revision
One of the (many) most disappointing parts of learning that I am allergic to wheat was realizing all the different foods I would have to say no to on my upcoming trip to Morocco. Basically every dish there is served with a side of freshly baked bread that is absolutely mouth watering. Not to mention my all time favorite dish (this Moroccan lamb stew with orzo) is a pasta based dish. So I’ve been working on making a gluten free version for a few months now. I decided risotto would be the best substitute for the small grain shaped pasta. If you aren’t gluten free, I highly recommend using orzo instead of risotto rice; you could simply cook the orzo in the same amount of liquid you would cook the risotto in but for the recommended time on the pasta box!
Before We Get Started…
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