Pilaff with Lamb and Almonds

Pilaff with Lamb and Almonds may be served as a complete meal with chutneys, tomato and onion salad or a hot curry sauce.

10 fl. oz. sour cream

4 oz. ground almonds

1-1 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper garlic cloves, crushed

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped { lb. boned leg of lamb, cut into f-inch cubes

1½ oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons cumin seed

12 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained

½ teaspoon ground saffron

1 tablespoon melted butter

5 fl. oz. boiling water

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, ground almonds, half of the salt, the cayenne, garlic and ginger. Add the lamb cubes and mix well. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam sub-sides, add the onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Add the cumin seed, and fry for 1 minute. Add the lamb cubes, with the marinade, and cook, stirring and turning frequently, for 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the lamb cubes for 30 to 35 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. ‘Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 3 pints of water to the boil. Add the remaining salt and pour in the rice. Boil briskly for U minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the rice thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Add the rice to the lamb mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Stir in the saffron and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside.

Pour the melted butter into a large baking dish. Spoon the lamb and rice mixture into the dish. Pour over the boiling water and stir well to mix. Cover the dish with aluminium foil.

Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake the pilaff for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove the dish from the oven. Serve the pilaff directly from the dish or pile it on to a warmed serving platter.

Serve immediately.

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