Sunday, 31 May 2020

Lamb Pilau Recipe

My mum is one of those cooks whose technique has been hones through forty years of cooking and complaints from a fussy husband and picky kids. All of us siblings and out spouses savour her cooking, and especially on Eid when we all gather to have lunch together and she makes her lamb pilau.

This year there was no gathering on Eid and the prospect of no lamb pilau, so I thought I’s try it myself for the first time. In the past I had made plain, pea, veg, chickpea and chicken pilau, but was a little intimidated at the idea of making lamb pilau.

I ended up reading a few recipes and then asking my mum her process and adjusting slightly. Thankfully it came out well and was enjoyed by everyone.


Ingredients
For the broth:
1kg lamb - I use lamb chops or lamb shoulder chops
Half of a garlic bulb – cloves peeled.
1 inch of ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 peeled and onion quartered
2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaf
2 green cardamoms
3 black cardamoms
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon of salt

For cooking the pilau:
6 cups of rice
2-3 tablespoons cooking oil (I usually use sunflower for rice)
3 medium onions – diced
5 tomatoes – pureed
2 teaspoons of zeera (cumin seeds)
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
2-3 tablespoons of salt

Method
When measuring out the rice, water for the broth and the broth itself, make sure you use the same cup (or same size cup).

Put the lamb, and all of the broth ingredients in a pan with eight cups of water and allow to cook until the lamb is tender (but not too soft), this should take approximately 45 minutes to an hour. 



The smell should be amazing, and sometimes my mum used to take a cup out for me to drink as a kind of bone broth. Once cooked, strain the broth and keep to one side, separate the meat from the other ingredients and put to one side, discarding the rest (onions, garlic, ginger and whole spices).





Next take the rice and rinse using cold water a few times until the water runs fairly clear. Then leave to soak in cold water while you prepare the masala/base for the rice.
In a large pan, add your oil and allow to heat, next add your three diced onions and two teaspoons of zeera and sauté until the onions are quite brown. The colour of the onions determines the colour of the rice, so you want them to cook to a good deep colour, but without burning.


Next take the rice and rinse using cold water a few times until the water runs fairly clear. Then leave to soak in cold water while you prepare the masala/base for the rice.

In a large pan, add your oil and allow to heat, next add your three diced onions and two teaspoons of zeera and sauté until the onions are quite brown. The colour of the onions determines the colour of the rice, so you want them to cook to a good deep colour, but without burning.


Next you need to measure out the broth. For every cup of rice, I use one and a half cup of broth. So, for the six cups of rice, I used just under nine cups of broth. If you are a little short of broth, you can add water to make up the required amount.

Add the nine cups of broth to the cooking put with the onions and tomatoes and raise the heat. Once the broth starts to simmer, drain the rice and add along with two tablespoons of salt.  Taste the salt, it should taste a bit too salty rather than just right. If the salt tastes right, add another spoon. Allow to cook on medium heat until water reduces/gets absorbed by the rice and there is very little left – enough that the mixture is still slightly soupy/wet, but the water does not sit above the level of the rice.




Add the nine cups of broth to the cooking put with the onions and tomatoes and raise the heat. Once the broth starts to simmer, drain the rice and add along with two tablespoons of salt.  Taste the salt, it should taste a bit too salty rather than just right. If the salt tastes right, add another spoon. Allow to cook on medium heat until water reduces/gets absorbed by the rice and there is very little left – enough that the mixture is still slightly soupy/wet, but the water does not sit above the level of the rice.




This is definitely a dish I will be making again. I also found some other recipes that looked interesting:



Do let us know in the comments if you made the recipe above or any of the recipes at the link. Or do you have your own version that turns out really tasty?


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1 comment:

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