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Qurutob Tajik Lamb Onion Yogurt Flatbread Sauce

Qurutob: Tajik Braised Lamb with Yogurt Sauce and Flatbread

  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes


  • 2 medium sized onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz qurut (see below)
  • 1/2 fatir (see below)
  • 1 lamb shoulder and its accompaniments (see below)
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil, chopped for garnish


  • 2 1/2 cups plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Colander or cheesecloth (for straining)

Roasted Lamb

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1.5 lb bone-in lamb shoulder (alternatively two lamb shanks of the same weight)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped into large chunks


  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


Stage 1 – Begin with Qurut

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the next few hours, it’s going to get used frequently!
  2. First up is making your qurut. Pour your yogurt into a wide-bottomed baking dish like a square 9-inch Pyrex. The more wide-bottomed and thinly the yogurt can spread out, the better
  3. When the oven is heated, place the yogurt into the oven to bake for 1 1/2 hours. Next up is the lamb shank

Stage 2 – Pre-Cook the Lamb Shoulder

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine your cumin, coriander, paprika together to create spice-laden dry rub
  2. Place an oven-safe stockpot or Dutch oven (on Amazon) over high heat, then rub your lamb with the rub while the pot heats up
  3. When the bottom of the pot is sizzling hot, add in your olive oil followed by your lamb shoulder
  4. Sear both sides of your lamb for ~3 minutes each or 6 minutes total
  5. When your lamb has browned, add your chopped tomatoes, cover the pot and place it in the oven next to your baking qurut. Your lamb will bake for 2.5 hours, so this is a perfect time to work on the fatir

Stage 3 – Prepare Fatir

  1. Either in a food processor (on Amazon) or with an electric mixer, combine your flour, salt, water and egg together into a basic dough
  2. Wrap the dough into some plastic wrap, set in the fridge and let it rest for ~30 minutes. Now you can take it easy for a bit!
  3. After 30 minutes, take the dough out and roll it flat into a longer rectangular shape
  4. When you have a rectangle of dough with ~1/4 inch thickness, cut halfway down the dough to create two equally-sized pieces
  5. Take your softened butter and a spreader, and spread it evenly over the top surface of your two dough pieces
  6. Start rolling one dough piece tightly into the shape of a cylinder. When you’ve rolled it, place it at the end of the second piece and continue rolling it into a bigger cylinder
  7. Once you have your dough cylinder, wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for at least an hour. Time to relax again (for now)

Stage 4 – Return to Qurut

  1. Sometime before your fatir dough is ready, your qurut will have been in the oven for 1.5 hours already. Once it has, take it out of the oven
  2. Very carefully ladle your baked yogurt into your cheesecloth, then let it sit for 2-3 minutes to let cool. You don’t want to burn your hands here!
  3. After it’s cooled slightly, squeeze as much excess whey out of the yogurt as you can, then transfer the yogurt briefly to a mixing bowl
  4. Toss in your salt and mix around into the drying yogurt, then set it back evenly into the baking dish
  5. Place your qurut back into the oven for another 30 minutes

Stage 5 – Prepare and Bake Fatir

  1. At this point, your fatir dough should have hardened and will be ready to bake. Take it out of the fridge, remove the cylinder from plastic wrap, and place onto an oiled baking dish or lined with greased parchment paper
  2. Use the palm of your hand to press the dough flat. What should happen is that your bread will develop beautiful looking swirls between dough and butter
  3. Prick your fatir dough with a fork, sprinkle with some sesame seeds, then place it on another rack in your oven for roughly 35 minutes

Stage 6 – Assemble and Prepare your Qurutob

  1. Finally, we come to the final piece: putting together the entire qurutob! Start by taking your qurut, fatir and roasting lamb out of the oven and into a separate baking dish to let cool
  2. Take your Dutch oven (on Amazon) or stockpot (the one that cooked the lamb) over medium-high heat with a generous helping of oil and add in your onions
  3. Fry your onions for 5 or so minutes in the oil as they start to turn golden brown
  4. As the onions start to turn golden, begin crumbing your qurut into the mixture
  5. Shortly after the qurut, add in the residual juices from your roasted lamb. Depending on how runny you want your qurutob to be, you might want to add a dash of water, but the goal is to have a thicker, lumpier type of sauce
  6. With your sauce coming together, add in your pieces of lamb and roasted tomatoes into the mixture, and mix everything well
  7. The final step: tear pieces of your freshly baked fatir into the pan, and stir everything well together again
  8. Take the pot off the heat and transfer your qurutob base to your serving dish.

To serve, layer the lamb, tomatoes, parsley and basil on top, and your qurutob is done. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 225 min

Keywords: Lamb in onion, lamb in yogurt, yogurt with bread