Delicious, Nutritious and Soothing
Our traditional Laban Oummo
This Lebanese Lamb in warm Yogurt is culturally known as Laban Oummo, which translated into the endearing name of “His Mother’s Yogurt”. To appreciate its name, one has to understand the Lebanese culture of family affection and motherly absolute devotion, and the wordings we use to endear our kids. This dish is one of them. 🙂
Phonetically, it is pronounced Laban Oummo (not Immo). At oppose to some current misinterpretations, Laban is Yogurt, not milk. In fact, Yogurt and Lamb meat are the two main components of this dish.
Cooking with Laban (Lebanese plain yogurt) encompasses many dishes of our Lebanese cuisine. I know that when I first visited the US in my early 20s, I was surprised to see “sweet yogurt”.
I found it weird, and hesitated to try it…. just because, for us Lebanese, yogurt is a main component of many of our salty dishes, and we also eat it fresh cold like in the Yogurt Cucumber Salad, or as an addition to the Baked Kibbeh and others.
I believe it goes the same with Westerners when we speak of dishes cooked in yogurt.
Yet! If you still haven’t tried the Lamb in Yogurt, or the Stuffed Zucchini in Yogurt, or the Shish Barak, I strongly advise you to take the jump. You’ll love them! Hot cooked yogurt are delicious and super comforting to the stomach.
For the Lebanese nation, foods cooked in yogurt are “homey” to the souls. These dishes speak of loving homes and family bonds, and connect us closely to our traditional culture.
Lamb in Yogurt: The Recipe of Laban Oummo
Warm and soothing to the stomach, healthy and delicious, Laban Oummo is one of our traditional meals cherished by families over dinner or lunch.
The Lamb meat here is cooked in cubes, and not with bones and fats like it used to be.
Our cuisine has been evolving healthier for this type of dishes, and easier in method.
The meat is cooked separately, so is the culinary preparation of the yogurt that includes Tahini Paste for added quality protein, and Corn Starch to maintain the yogurt consistency. They are then cooked together to just a boiling point. Dry mint is added at the end, before serving.
Pine Kernels or Nuts are optional. Our land enjoys so many Pine trees that their healthy nuts are almost omnipresent in our cuisine.
This dish is consumed with the Lebanese Vermicelli rice, which we cook for many of our stews, and other similar dishes in yogurt like the Shish Barak.
Enjoy it! Life is Good!
- 250 gr Lamb cut in cubes Cooked ahead; check the link above
- 10 Baby Onions
- 5 Cloves Garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
For The Yogurt
- 1 Kg Plain Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Corn Starch
- 1 tbsp Tahini Paste
- 1/4 tsp White Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Water
For the Toppings
- 1/2 cup Pine Kernels toasted or fried
- 1/4 tsp Dry Mint
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra-virgin
Fry the onions in preheated oil, turning them gently until they turn yellow. Add the garlic and stir for a minute.
Add the meat cubes and water, stir and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Cooking the Yogurt
Whisk the Corn starch in the 1/4 cup of water, and pour it on the Yogurt.
Add the Tahini, salt and white pepper, and blend well.
Slowly pour the yogurt mixture in the cooking meat, stirring continuously, in one direction, until boiling point.
Remove the Laban Oummo from the heat, and pour it into a deep serving plate.
Sprinkle with dry mint, and the pine kernels.
Serve with Lebanese Vermicelli Rice on the side.