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This month we feature a recipe from Venture Centre’s Community Lunch Programme – a project providing local residents with healthy meals every Wednesday for a small cost of £1.50. The programme aims to bring the community together and promote the positives of healthy eating.


  • 1 lamb stock cube, crumbled
  • 75g dried apricots, halved
  • 1 tablespoon clear honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400g lamb neck fillet, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 400g tin chickpeas
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

For the couscous:

  •  150g couscous
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Put the stock cube, apricots, honey and ground spices in a jug and cover with 300ml boiling water. Stir to combine.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add half the lamb pieces and brown on all sides for 4-5 minutes, then transfer to a large casserole dish (or tagine). Repeat with the remaining lamb.

Keeping the pan on the heat, add the onion and cook for 8 minutes until softened. Add the pepper and continue to fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to the casserole dish with the lamb.

Pour the stock mixture and the whole tin of chickpeas, including the liquid into the casserole. Put on the heat, stir and then cover the dish and bring to the boil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 50 minutes.

Near the end of the cooking time, put a dry frying pan on a medium heat. Add the flaked almonds and toast for 2 minutes until lightly golden, shaking the pan regularly. Tip into a small bowl and mix together with the crushed garlic and chopped coriander, then set aside.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the raw couscous. Toast for 2 minutes, stirring the grains until lightly browned. Meanwhile, mix the chicken stock cube with 300ml boiling water.

Remove the couscous from the heat and pour over the hot stock. Stir and cover, then leave for 5 minutes. Fluff up the grains with a fork and stir through the smoked paprika.

Serve the tagine with the couscous and almond mixture.