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Arabic Meat in Yogurt Sauce (Shakriya)

(Yield:  About 6-8 servings)

  • 3 TB olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lb meat (beef or lamb), trimmed of fat and cubed 
    (I like to use a boneless beef sirloin steak for this)
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 32 oz plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • Salt to taste
  • Prepared rice (optional, for serving)


  1. In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat 2 TB of oil over medium-high heat.  When the oil starts to ripple, add the meat and let it brown on one side before stirring it (about 3-5 minutes).  Stir the meat and add just enough water to cover (about 3 c), then add the bouillon and bay.  Bring it up to a boil, then put the lid on, and turn it down to a simmer.  Cook for about 45-60 minutes or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary (you should have about 2 c of water left in the pot after cooking the meat).
  2. Mix the cornstarch with 2 TB cold water to form a slurry.  Add the yogurt and cornstarch slurry to the meat and cook on low heat until it comes up to a simmer; shut off the heat.
  3. In a small pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with the crushed garlic over low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the garlic to the soup.  Season to taste with salt; serve with prepared rice if desired.


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