Turkish Lamb and Quince Stew (Ayva Yahnisi)

Turkish Lamb and Quince StewLamb, quince and spices melts they flavor perfectly in flavorful dish. If you don’t know quince in meat dishes, this recipe is a way to be introduced in them.

For this recipe I used several small quinces form the garden that I keep in the storage.

You need:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 kg lamb, fat removed, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 kg (optional) quinces, peeled, cored, and quartered (I doubled the quantity)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat 2 tablespoon oil over high heat in a deep frying pan or stew pot. Add lamb and brown it in several portions removing it to a plate when browned.
  2. Heat the other 2 tablespoon oil over high heat and add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until translucent and light golden.
  3. Add the pomegranate molasses and the water. Stir well, to mix in the browned juices.
  4. Return lamb to the pan and add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cover and simmer for one hour. Adjust salt and add water if necessary. This is a stew and the meat should be kept in juices.
  6. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the quinces and cook over high heat for several minutes until caramelized. Turn the pieces from time to time.
  7. Add sugar, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, stir once, and place on top of the lamb in the pan.
  8. Cover, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the lamb is tender, shaking the pan occasionally. Don’t stir, this would damage the quinces!
  9. Serve hot with fresh bread, bulgur, rice or what you like!

8 thoughts on “Turkish Lamb and Quince Stew (Ayva Yahnisi)

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