Make the spice mix by toasting the spices in a dry skillet over low heat. Shake the pan so they donâ€™t scorch; when they smell fragrant, not burnt, theyâ€™re done. Remove and set aside the cinnamon stick; it will go in the stew whole. Transfer the rest of the toasted spices to a spice mill or clean coffee grinder, and grind them to a fine powder.
Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat a 3-count drizzle of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the lamb cubes on all sides, turning with tongs, and then remove to a platter. Do this in batches if the pan looks crowded. In the same pot, cook the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and all the toasted spices in the lamb drippings, stirring occasionally until fragrant, aboutÂ 3 minutes.
Return the lamb to the pan, add the cinnamon stick, and pour in the chicken stock, tomato puree, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes, raisins, and almonds; season with salt. Stir everything together, cover, and cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off and mix in the yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and mint before serving. Intense!
Edited: October 14th, 2009