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Lamb Pilaf

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Serves: 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
25g / 1 oz flaked or slivered almonds
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
350g / 12 oz lean lamb, cut into chunks
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
2 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
grated rind of 1 orange
350g / 12 oz easy-cook brown basmati rice
600ml / 1 pint vegetable or lamb stock
2 tbsp freshly snipped chives
3 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish
lemon slices and sprigs of fresh coriander


Preheat the oven to 140ºC / 275ºF / Gas Mark 1. Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole with a tight-fitting lid and add the almonds. Cook for about 1 minute until just starting to brown, stirring often. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook gently for a further 8-10 minutes until soft and lightly browned.

Increase the heat and add the lamb. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the lamb has changed colour. Add the ground cinnamon and chilli flakes and stir briefly before adding the tomatoes and orange rind. Stir and add the rice, then the stock. Bring slowly to the boil and cover tightly. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until the rice is tender and the stock is absorbed.

Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes before stirring in the chives and coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the lemon slices and sprigs of fresh coriander and serve immediately.

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