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The national dish of Afghanistan, this Pilaf is full of juicy flavours and a delicious broth. 

  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 800 g lamb leg or shoulder, on the bone, chopped into 6cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 litres (8 cups) water
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) white sugar
  • 2 tsp garam masala (made from ground cloves, bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon) 
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • 1 kg Kohinoor basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 250 g carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 75 g mixed slivered almonds and pistachios, to garnish

 

  • Heat 50 ml of the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat and cook the onion for 6–8 minutes, or until golden. Add the lamb, garlic and 1 tbsp of the salt and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until lamb is well browned on all sides.
  • Add the water, reduce heat to low and cook, skimming surface occasionally, for 1 ½ hours, or until lamb is tender. Remove lamb from pan and set aside. Reserve the stock.
  • Place half of the sugar in a hot, dry saucepan over medium heat. Cook, shaking pan, for 5–6 minutes or until sugar has caramelised. Carefully add 250 ml (1 cup) of reserved stock, the remaining salt, 1 tsp of garam masala and a pinch of cardamom. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside.
  • Drain the soaked rice. Cook in a large saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until almost cooked. Drain and return to pan. Pour over the caramelised sugar mixture, add a pinch of garam masala and cardamom, and stir until rice is evenly coated. 
  • Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrot and remaining sugar and stir for 5 minutes, or until lightly caramelised and glossy. Remove from the heat and stir in another pinch of cardamom.  Set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan until smoking. Pour oil over the rice. Using the end of a large spoon, make holes all over rice to allow it to steam evenly. Top with spiced carrot and reserved lamb.
  • Cover and seal pan with a tea towel, then a lid. Place over high heat and cook for 5 minutes, or until you hear a ticking sound. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Remove lamb and spiced carrots, and mix rice well.
  • To serve, cover base of a platter with a little rice, spoon over the lamb and then cover with remaining rice. Top with spiced carrot, then scatter with almonds and pistachios.

 

Not reviewed yet

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