Tumbleweed stew (Yakhnet akkoub)

May 23, 2012  •  Category:


This delicious stew is one of the traditional dishes made with this wild vegetable; my grandmother used to prepare it this way and so do lots of folks here. Just sauté the akkoub (tumbleweed)  in some olive oil with plenty of chopped onions and garlic, cook the stew meat separately, then mix the two and finish off the cooking with a final addition of fresh lemon juice. Serve with rice.

Here Clint Eastwood is thinking of a suitable place to light up a fire and cook his tumbleweed. 

Hmm, just a thought; it is that rustic of a dish!

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 1 pound of tumbleweeds or gundelia or akkoub, cleaned, outer leaves removed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic or to taste, chopped and mashed with a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1 pound of stew meat or lamb shanks
  • salt, pepper to taste, a dash of cinnamon or allspice if desired
  • olive oil, as needed
  1. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and fry the chopped onions till golden; add the akkoub and stir-fry for 20 minutes, shaking the pan every so often to keep them from burning; add the mashed garlic and stir a few seconds. In the meantime, sprinkle the spices on the meat and brown it in a pot  and add 4 cups of water. Cover and simmer one hour or longer till the meat is tender. 
  2. Add the meat and broth to the akkoub and stir to combine them; simmer the stew a good twenty minutes longer over low heat, squeeze the juice of a large lemon and serve hot with plain rice.


11 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Velva says:

    I have a very distinct vision of tumbleweed-hmmm. onions and garlic can do amazing things with food. I am thinking tumbleweed may be similar to dandelions? Hmmm.


  2. Nadji says:

    Je ne connais pas du tout les akkoubs.
    Un plat rustique mais certainement délicieux.
    A bientôt

  3. Rosa says:

    A delicious dish! I wish I could try this vegetable.



  4. singapore shiok says:

    Oh my! This post had me literally laughing out loud – when I think of tumbleweed, I DO think of a young, hot Clint Eastwood! Never tried tumbleweed, but would love to, if it tumbled my way!

  5. Sue says:

    This looks fascinating—can you recommend a substitute vegetable for those of us who can’t find tumbleweed?

  6. Chiara says:

    Lovely post Joumana, I never tried tumbleweed, looks delicious!

  7. Jamie says:

    Oh lord too funny but I’ll bet you are right about old Clint! And this dish is fantastic – but could I replace the vegetables with small artichokes?

  8. Belinda @zomppa says:

    What a great name (and if Clint Eastwood is there….) – looks fantastic!

  9. Nuts about food says:

    I have been missing for a while but am catching up on my reading. I had no idea you could cook tumbleweed. So intrigues, if only I knew where to get me some ;o)

  10. domi says:

    Clint Eastwood aurait sûrement apprécié ce plat aux saveurs inconnues….

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