If it were up to me, every gardener would know about Dimlama, the Uzbek one-pot answer to harvest-time (no canning required). While every Uzbek family makes it a little differently, potatoes, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes are standard fare, as is a hearty sprinkling of whole cumin seeds.
The key to dimlama rests in the layering. First of all, lamb is browned, then onions are added in the mix. One they submit to browning, the remaining vegetables are layered (and, once they’re added, you never stir the pot!). The final layer is always cabbage, which helps seal in the moisture.
When the vegetables release their juices, they drip down to the bottom of the pan and deglaze all those nummy browned bits.
A luscious brown gravy worthy of being sopped up by a nice piece of Central Asian Yogurt Naan.
1/2-1 lb cubed lamb or beef
1 large onion, sliced in quarter moons
5 small yellow potatoes cut in half
2-3 large carrots, peeled & sliced
2 red peppers, sliced in strips
2 large tomatoes, cut in wedges
5 cloves garlic, quartered
3 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
1 small, green cabbage cut in hunks
salt & pepper, as needed
First, let’s brown the lamb and onion in oil. You want to get it really good and toasty, as that’s the main source of dimlama’s flavor.
Next, layer on the veggies, being sure to season with salt and pepper as you go.
First, the potatoes, carrots, and peppers.
Next, the tomatoes, garlic, green onion, and cumin seed.
Finally, the cabbage. You’ll want to cut the cabbage in large wedges, then peel off the outer leaves to cover any gaps along the surface of the dimlama.
Enjoy with a smile, a friend, and happy conversation!
While you eat, pay attention to all those amazing layers of flavor, perhaps while looking at an entirely different sort of layering.
P.S. Do you see the people in this picture!?
Really gives a sense of the scale!
- 1/2-1lb lamb, cubed -OR-
- 1/2-1lb beef, cubed
- 1large onion, sliced in quarter moons
- 5small yellow potatoes, cut in half
- 2-3large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips
- 2large tomatoes, cut in wedges
- 5cloves garlic, quartered
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 1/2tsp cumin seeds
- 1small green cabbage, cut in hunks
Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.