There are many different variations of pilau rice including pea pilau, chickpea pilau, chicken pilau and mixed vegetable pilau just to name a few. They all compliment curries brilliantly. One of my favourites is lamb pilau rice, the cooking process involves making your own lamb stock. Personally, I believe lamb pilau is best served with a vegetable based curry, this provides some balance to the meaty flavour. However, it is very common to see it being served with chicken curry, really it depends on personal preference.
Ingredients Basmati rice
Black cumin seeds (optional)
Black cardamom pods
Green cardamom pods
The first step is to make the lamb stock using roughly 500g of lamb bones. You can use just lamb bones or even lamb chops. Add the bones to a pan with 4 cups of water.
Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 grated cloves of garlic, 1tsp crushed ginger, 1tsp salt, 1tsp garam masala, 2 bay leaves and 1 cinnamon stick.
Slice in half 1 black cardamom pod and 1 green cardamom pod. Add these to the pan.
Sliced black cardamom pod.
Bring this to the boil and then simmer on a low heat, with the lid on, for at least 2 hours.
Once the lamb stock has been cooked allow it to cool slightly. Then using a strainer filter the stock, this will take out any smaller bones that may have broken during the cooking process. You’ll be left with just the liquid stock, it is up to you if you would like to pick out the bones to add them to the rice. If you are using lamb chops you probably will want to keep the cooked meat.
Keep the stock to a side you will need this a bit later.
To make the rice wash 3 cups of rice in lukewarm water. This will get rid of the starch that makes rice go sticky. Then soak the rice in lukewarm water.
You will notice the water go milky with the starch.
Whilst the rice is soaking, slice 2 small onions and cook them in 5tbsp of cooking oil. This part of the cooking will need stirring and supervision so that the onions do not burn.
Once the onions start to turn a golden colour, add the spices. You will need 1 black cardamom pod, 2tsp garam masala, 1tsp cumin seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 1tsp salt and 1tsp crushed ginger. An optional ingredient is to add 1tsp black cumin seeds. Heat for 3 minutes stirring continuously.
Add half a cup of cold water to the pan and place the lid on immediately. Keep the lid on for roughly 30 seconds. This will really draw out the flavours from the herbs and spices.
Add 3 cups of the lamb stock.
Add the rice and heat it on a low-medium heat until most the water has evaporated. This should take roughly 5 minutes.
I chose to keep the lamb bones.
Cover the pan with the lid and then on the lowest heat possible simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes the rice should be dry and fragrant. If you taste it and find the rice is a bit raw add 1/3 cup of milk stir and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes with the lid on (lowest heat).