Margarita's International Recipes



Stewed Lamb

Skoudehkaris is Djibouti's national dish, an aromatic stew of lamb and rice. There are several recipes for it online, but they are all very close. I followed the one below very closely, with the exception of using substantially less cardamon. The original recipe called for 2 teaspoons, and I think that amount would have overwhelmed the dish (to make ground cardamon, I opened the pods and grounded the seeds in a mini-blender).

I'm sorry to say that I cannot personally comment on the results. I had a terrible cold when I cooked it/ate it and was unable to taste anything at all (so I went by the recipe exactly, other than the cardamon). I did find the results quite satisfying - the lamb was incredibly tender (I used lamb shoulder) and the rice hit my sore throat nicely -, but I can't comment on the taste. My husband, who did taste it, wasn't impressed. He found it to be too mild and just not very flavorful. He didn't think more cardamon would have helped. More of the other spices, however, might have - I'm thinking Djibouti, being such a center of trade, probably gets very fresh spices and they may be stronger than those we get in America, so if I made this again I would experiment with increasing the quantities of all the spices.



  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
  • 2 lbs. lamb, cubed
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup long-grain rice


Heat ghee or oil in a cooking pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and spices and fry, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the lamb cubes and brown well on all sides. Add the tomatoes and 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then cover, put the heat on low and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the rice and the additional cup of water and cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.

Adapted from this recipe at Global

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