Ghaame (Tripe Filled with Rice and Chick Peas)

1 large, whole lamb’s tripe, thin and tender
2 lemons, cut in half
500 g coarsely minced lamb
1 cup long-grain rice, washed and drained
˝ cup dried split chick peas, soaked overnight and drained
1 ˝ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
˝ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
˝ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
125 g softened butter
1 medium onion, sliced into 6
3 tablespoons water
1 cinnamon stick
Additional 1 teaspoon salt

1. Clean the tripe by washing it thoroughly with salted water and rubbing it with half a lemon.

2. Cut tripe into 6 pieces and sew edges of each piece with white cotton to form a parcel, leaving one end open for the filling.

3. In a large bowl, combine lamb, rice, chick peas, salt, spices, butter, onion and water.

4. Half-fill each tripe parcel with this mixture and sew up the ends of the parcels.

5. Place in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil.

6. Cook over a high heat for 15 minutes.

7. Remove parcels with a slotted spoon and rinse under running water.

8. Rinse saucepan and fill with fresh water.

9. Return parcels to pan with 2 lemon halves, cinnamon stick and additional salt. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat.

10. Cook slowly for 3 to 3 ˝ hours, until soft.

11. Serve immediately, alone or with a salad. Remember to remind each diner to remove the cotton!