Thursday 6 July 2017

Lamb Stew on Pilaf Rice

Rice and meat stew 

A hybrid of Iraqi Biryani, A Persian Pallau, a Turkish Pilaf, a Syrian Pilaf, let's be inclusive of the Middle Eastern world that calls this rice cooked in broth a Pilaf.  It is full of flavours that are subtle, not spicy, yet simply flavourful and not bland; it is a lamb stew served on a bed of pilaf rice.

A bed of rice pilaf topped with a lamb stew, with green peppers and onions sprinkles with nuts

The Meat Stew

2 kg/4.4 Lamb pcs half without bone in small squares and half with bone slightly larger
2 flat tsp salt
2 onions roughly chopped

1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp brown sugar
2 large onions chopped into squares
1 tsp garam masala
4 finely chopped green chillies
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp crushed ginger
2 onions in squares
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 stick of cinnamon
4 green cardamoms

1 tbsp ghee
small pieces of aubergine and zucchini
sprinkle of salt
pinch of sugar
1 tsp all-spice or advieh
1 tsp dried mint or dried oregano

Step 1. 
Boil them together until soft and tender. 
1 kg/ 2.2 lb lamb in small square pieces + 1 kg/ 2.2 lb boned lamb in medium pieces 
8 cups of fresh water, salt, and onions. 

Strain and separate the meat, remove and discard the onion and spices; keep the broth aside. 

Step 2:
Melt 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and add 3 large onions, cut into square chunks, to the pan to sauté until caramelized.
Add a tsp of brown sugar to help it along. Now add all the dry spices, give it a good stir, add the tomato paste and the garlic and ginger pastes, give it a stir. 
Add the cooked meat and allow it to caramelise on a high flame. 
Add the broth a spoonful at a time to keep it moist when necessary. 

In another pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee and add the aubergine and zuchinni in small chunks to saute. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a pinch of sugar. Keep it caramelised and cooked through, but it should not be over cooked. Sprinkle with allspice or advieh and then with dried mint or oregano. 

Toss all of this into the pan with the meat. Gently give it a good ''folding in,'' allowing it to get incorporated. It should not break down or turn into mush. Add a spoon of broth if needed.


1 tsp ghee/butter or oil
2 cups  washed rice
The broth
1 stick cinnamon
8 cloves
2 green cardamoms
1 tsp salt
add  1 cup peas and 1/2 cup diced carrots
Sumac to sprinkle

In a large pot, prepare the rice. 
Heat a pan with 1 tsp of ghee, oil or butter, and add the rice to it. 
Add 4 cups of liquid, using up all the broth you may have saved on the side. The balance of the liquid used can be water if you run short. 
Also add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, and lastly, add the peas and diced carrots. 
Bring the water to a boil, allowing the water to evaporate until the top of the rice is visible. Cover tightly, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 20 minutes until cooked through. 

To serve, remove the rice from a large platter, sprinkle all over with Sumac and serve it with the lamb meat stew. 

Optionally sprinkle with toasted almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc., and raisins. 


The flavours of the lamb, mutton, and goat meat are the best for this recipe. However, if you wish to use veal or beef, the broth is most important to flavour the rice. 
If you need to make the broth, if you buy a good cut of boneless beef, you can buy extra bones. 

Aubergine, eggplant, or brinjal are a creamy, sweet addition to this dish. Large green peppers like cubanelle, red capsicum, or yellow zucchini are great substitutions. Prepare the vegetables in an order that will cook through the ones like aubergine. That may take the longest, as the others  like peppers, should have a slight crispness to the bite. 
If you do not like the particular flavour of a spice or vegetable, omit it. 
Roasted or toasted nuts are also optional. Both taste perfect.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on Amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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