Pre-heat the oven to 180 C fan. Toss the lamb in the syrup and spices, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based ovenproof casserole dish and sear the lamb until it is browned on all sides, turning all the time.

Turn up the heat and if necessary add more oil along with the onions, garlic, parsley and aubergine. Cover and let sweat on a low heat for about 15 minutes until softened and golden. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, breaking them with a spoon, and add an extra tin of water. Add the chickpeas with their juices, olives and apricots and bring to the boil.

Turn off the heat and transfer the casserole pot, covered, to the oven for 1 1/2 hours. After an hour add the pearl barley and if necessary a cup of water.

Cover and let cook for the remaining half hour. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and serve topped with flaked almonds, chopped coriander and a sprinkling of lemon zest.

Andy’s Sugar Safe® Tips

Although this recipe contains dried apricots, which are quite high in sugar if consumed on their own, it has a good proportion of healthy fats, protein and fibre, which when eaten with the apricots, will guard against a spike in blood sugar levels.

If you enjoyed this delicious dinner, why not try my chicken souvlaki?