Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lamb Pilaf

I have been thinking about cooking rice pilaf after saw the recipe in Jill Norman's
Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference. After search in wikipedia about the meaning of "pilaf" and the link of Pakistani Lamb Pulao with picture illustration, I decided this is going to be our Xmas day lunch since we got the lamb and every ingredients. As always, the procedure is simplified to our families' taste and resource.

800 gr lamb
2 cups basmati rice
6 cups thinly slices onions
4 garlic cloves
1 piece ginger root
6 green cardamom pods
20 black peppercorns
1 bay leave
1 stick cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
ground turmeric
5 cloves
a pinch of cayenne pepper powder
2 cups water

Wash the rice a couple times and soak in water for 1-2 hours. Dry the meat with a paper towel and cut the meat in cubes. Season them with salt and pepper. Wrap in plastic foil and let the meat rest. Thinly slice onion and crush garlic. Grind peppercorns, cumin, coriander.

Heat oil (ghee) and add the large fragrant spices: cardamom, cinammon, cloves and the bay leave. Fry over high heat until the turn brownish. Add crushed garlic and then the onions and cook over medium heat until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add ground spices, mix, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until colored on every side, mixing all the time. Add salt and turmeric and the rice, stir for a minute or two, add 2 cups of boiling water. Mix and cover, leave in very low heat for 40-45 minutes. The link calls for dutch oven which I don't have, so I use the method we used to cook rice before the age of rice-cooker. It turned out perfect.