Lamb Pilaf

The Pilaf is one of that vast range of dishes that involve rice boiled in a savory liquid and is thus in the same class of phenomena as paella, jambalaya and risottos. The word pilaf is of Persian origin, and this one is typically south-west Asian in its use of lamb, cinnamon, allspice, dried fruits and nuts. Do not be put off by the long list of ingredients. It is actually very simple.



¼ cup olive oil.

1 onion, finely chopped.

250g lamb mince.

½ teaspoon cinnamon.

½ teaspoon allspice.

½ teaspoon ground ginger.

¼ teaspoon white pepper.

Salt to taste.

1 cup jasmine rice.

½ cup sultanas.

2 tablespoons tomato paste.

2 cups vegetable stock or water.

2 spring onions, finely chopped.



Peel and chop the onion and set aside. Mix the cinnamon, allspice, ginger, pepper and salt together and stir into the meat, mixing well. Set aside. Mix the rice, sultanas, tomato paste and water in a bowl and set aside. Leave sitting for a couple of hours to allow the sultanas to plump up.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan on a high flame and cook the meat, stirring well until fully browned, then add the onion and stir fry until soft. Add the rice mixture, bring to the boil, stirring to mix thoroughly, then reduce heat to a bare simmer and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook for eighteen minutes then remove from the heat, still covered, and allow to sit for a further ten minutes; timing is critical, so use a timer.

Fluff up the rice, adding the spring onions, and serve on hot plates with a yoghurt nut mixture on the side.


Serves: 2.

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