Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shuwa (Pit Roasted Meat)



meat of goat or lamb
dates or honey
bizaar (whole or powdered)


If dates are to be used, they are soaked overnight in water, then stirred vigorously with enough of the water to make a thick, pulpy liquid.

The meat may be cut into pieces but is usually left as a whole roast. It is then basted with the liquid from the dates or with honey, and/or sprinkled with the juice of fragrant Omani lemons, salted according to taste and seasoned generously with bizaar.

Less traditional ingredients such as garlic, ginger and chilis may also be added.

After preparation, the meat is wrapped in banana leaves, if available, and securely sewn into sturdy sacks made of natural fibre.

Sacks woven from palm leaves especially for this purpose can be found in many souqs, although empty rice sacks and other such substitutes are just as frequently used.

When the fire is glowing red-hot, the sacks of meat are dropped into the fire pit which is immediately covered with a lid or large stones, and finally insulated with a thick layer of earth and

This extinguishes the fire while retaining the heat. The meat is then left in the pit to cook very slowly for 24 hours or more.

The result is a deliciously spicy, succulent roast which is served hot on a very large communal platter.

Shuwa is usually eaten on the second or third day of Eid.

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