There is nobody from the Levant region that did not grow up with this simple and nutritious meal in his or her home. Laban Immo is a rice and yogurt dish delicacy made with lamb, and literally means ‘the milk of his mother’. Silky and smooth like the texture of fresh milk, it is cooked most often with lamb neck or shanks. In some parts of Palestine, beef or even pork would also be used.
My father remembers his mother’s Laban Immo.
My fondest memory was of her superb cooking. Her ‘Laban Immo,’ was legendary, I can still recall its mouthwatering fragrance. Once she packed it in my lunch box and my delicious Laban Immo fell all over the classroom floor. I was devastated to be deprived of my all-time favorite.
- 10 minutes
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- 4-6 pax
- 500 g lamb neck fillet, cubed
- 4 onions, sliced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 5 cups yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp corn flour mixed with 2 tbsp of water
- A pinch of mixed spices
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups water
- Place a saucepan on the stove and heat the oil.
- Add onions and fry until soft.
- Add lamb cubes and mixed spices. Fry for a few minutes.
- Add water and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour, till the meat is tender.
- In another large saucepan, pour the yogurt, corn flour and salt.
- Bring the contents to a boil, stirring continuously and lower the heat.
- Add in the cooked meat, along with the sauce to the yogurt mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Heat butter in another pan. Add garlic and mint and fry for 1 minute.
- Pour over the yoghurt.
- Serve hot with rice.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tanya knew that Palestine was her symbolic homeland. Always curious about her identity and connecting with her roots, she was eager to strengthen her ties to the Levant and traveled the region, desperate to learn more. It wasn’t until her first trip to Palestine that she became spiritually and emotionally connected.
She studied Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. She then moved to the UAE, supporting numerous NGOs related to children’s welfare in the region. When she had her own family, she created the My Olive Roots platform in the hopes that her children and the Arabs diaspora would have a place to connect, learn and preserve their roots. Tanya enjoys discovering humanist stories and exploring the connection of food and art with culture.