Recipe courtesy of Hawa Hassan

Denningvleis (Sweet-and-Sour Braised Lamb With Tamarind)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
The tamarind and other dominant flavors in this braised lamb come from the Cape Malay community. If you can’t find tamarind paste, you can substitute an equal amount of sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice in the stew. The taste won’t be exactly the same, but you will get the nice sweet-and-sour effect along with the brown sugar. Serve with cooked rice and a vegetable such as Sukuma Wiki (Greens with Tomatoes). You can make this stew up to a week in advance. Just refrigerate it in an airtight container and rewarm it in a pot set over low heat before serving. It’s actually one of those dishes that’s even better if you make it ahead.



  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot set over medium heat. Season the lamb generously with salt and cook in the oil, in batches as necessary, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the browned lamb to a plate and set it aside. Once all the lamb is browned, add the onion and garlic to the empty pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, tamarind paste, sugar, and water to the pot and stir well to combine. Return the lamb (and whatever juices have collected on the plate) to the pot and stir well to combine. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Cook until the meat is wonderfully tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Be sure to uncover the pot and give the mixture a stir halfway through the cooking time. Season the lamb to taste with salt and serve hot.