Sandy once told me that "When you're going to make Syrian food, you get up in the morning and say, 'today I'm making Syrian food, and that's all I'm going to do all day.'"
Syrian food is great stuff, but spending the whole day cooking anything these days is impractical. Thanks to food processors and the top-notch prepared foods now available, it's also unnecessary.
Fajoom is a great intro to Syrian food. The most tedious chore is cutting up the lamb, and even that isn't bad thanks to the convenience of already boned and butterflied lamb. (You can have a butcher cube the meat for you, but he won't fuss trimming it.) I periodically prepare lamb cubes and almost always have them in the freezer, wrapped in 1-lb. portions and reserved for a number of recipes, from French casseroles to Moroccan stew. And, of course, Syrian food.
Baharat, which Sandy called Syrian allspice, is the Arabic word for spice. Every country in the Arab world has its own blend of baharat. If you're lucky enough to have a Middle Eastern grocer nearby, they will surely have it. If not, you'll find different recipes to make it here. Or, you can order it online.
FAJOOM4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
Melt the butter in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir for a minute. Add lamb. Brown well, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.