Kamounia is a spiced tomato based stew that comes in different versions depending on the added protein. As the name suggests, the dish puts the almighty cumin on a pedestal; kamoun translates to “cumin”.
Kamounia reminds us the most of our paternal grandpa Baba Mansour because of the potent aroma of cumin that always seemed to fill his home. The aroma would seep from the kitchen to the living room where we’d play cards while he enjoyed whiskey with kémia (small plates to build the appetite).
1.5 lb, Chuck Roast, Diced Into 1-1.5 inch cubes
3 cups, Hot Water
3 tbsp, Tomato Paste
2 tbsp, Harissa Paste
2 tbsp, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tsp, Paprika
3 tsp, Turmeric
1.5 tsp, Cumin
1 tsp, Salt
1 tsp, Black Pepper
Cut up the beef into 1 to 1½ inch cubes
In a bowl, add the paprika, turmeric, salt, and black pepper to the cubed pieces of beef and mix together thoroughly until the pieces are well coated.
In a pot on medium heat, add the olive oil, the spice-tossed beef cubes, the harissa paste, and the tomato paste; stir them around until the beef pieces are coated evenly and well caramelized. Watch the heat as you want to brown the meat but not burn it. Brown for about 5 minutes.
Add 3 cups of hot water, mix well until everything is deglazed and incorporated into the liquid and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, cover the pot with a lid and bring the heat down to medium-low. Allow 30 minutes of cooking time.
Remove the lid and bring the heat to medium. Allow the stew to simmer and reduce until it reaches a thick and rich consistency. This should take 15 minutes, more or less depending on your personal preference.
Once the right consistency has been achieved, add the cumin and turn the heat off. Serve and enjoy.
Serve and enjoy with some good bread!