Shakriyeh (Lamb Yogurt Stew)

Share this Syrian comfort food staple with your own household
48 Ratings
100% would make again
Lamb and Yogurt Stew Recipe (Shakriyeh)
Photo: Brendan McHale

For Vian Alnidawi and Sara Nassr, shakriyeh, a Syrian lamb yogurt stew, is a hearty, down-to-earth dish that's long been a staple of their family get-togethers. Here, we've adapted their recipe for an Instant Pot, making it even easier to share the comforting meal with your own household.

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Shakriyeh (Lamb and Yogurt Stew)

Recipe adapted from Vian Alnidawi and Sara Nassr, Comal Heritage Food Incubator, Denver, CO

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes


2 pounds lamb stew meat (preferably shoulder), cut into chunks  

2 quarts water

4 tablespoons salt, divided  

1 large yellow onion, diced into medium-sized cubes

2 pounds plain yogurt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted for garnish


1. Preheat the Instant Pot on the Sauté function. Place the lamb chunks in the Instant Pot; add the water and 2 tablespoons of the salt, and bring to a boil. When the impurities start to float, skim them off and discard, then add the onion. Once boiling, hit the Cancel button to stop the Sauté cycle. Select the Pressure Cook option and set to low pressure. Cover the Instant Pot and lock into place; be sure the steam release valve is closed. Set the timer to 40 minutes.  

2. In a blender, add the yogurt and cornstarch, and mix on high speed until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until it comes to a simmer, then sample to make sure it doesn't taste like cornstarch. Once the cornstarch flavor is gone, remove from the heat and set aside. 

3. With a colander, strain the lamb while reserving the broth. Season with the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt and mix to integrate gently.

4. Add the cooked lamb to the yogurt sauce along with 7 ounces of the reserved stock. Bring to a simmer.

5. Serve in shallow bowl with roast pine nuts over the top.

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