Chanakhi (Lamb Stew)

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
20 min
Inactive Prep:
20 min
40 min
4 servings


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large eggplant, stemmed, cut lengthwise, and then cut into 4-inch-long wedges
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder chops, cut into 3-inch-long pieces
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • One 16-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
  • Butter or vegetable oil, for sauteing
  • Pizza dough, for covering
    • Special equipment: Four clay pots


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a bowl of water and soak the eggplant for about 20 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the stew.

    Heat a deep iron skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, and then brown the lamb (it makes its own oil). Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, and then pour in the tomato paste and tomatoes, taking care not to smash the whole tomatoes. Drop in the potatoes. Cover with 1/2 cup water, if necessary, and then add the cilantro, parsley and cayenne and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat butter in a separate pan and saute the eggplant until completely soft and yellowish.

    Each serving is baked in its own clay pot. Place 2 to 4 pieces of eggplant into the bottom of each pot, and then ladle in a helping of the lamb and potatoes. Place a whole peeled tomato at the top of the bowl and pour over the broth until the bowl is nearly full.

    Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick and lay a piece only large enough to cover the top onto the stew.

    Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough top looks like bread or a pizza crust. Cut open the dough top and use the bread for dipping!

    This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.


    Cook's Note: Pirosmani's addition to chanakhi is to pull a layer of dough over each pot before putting in the oven. Laura's dough recipe is a family secret, but a simple pizza dough recipe will substitute.