Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lamb Pulao

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful



My Mother's recipe for Chicken Pulao is one of the most popular posts on this blog, and as with this recipe, I thought it was about time I shared her Lamb Pulao.
A lamb pulao has a much more intense flavour than the chicken version. This flavour is perfect for winter when I think we naturally crave foods with deeper flavours. We will save the chicken version for spring and summer then.
There are four important steps to any good pulao:
1. The Stock
2. Browning the Onions Well
3. Adding the Correct Amount of Water
4. Letting the Rice Absorb the Water before Steaming
So, do not try to rush or take any shortcuts with the above four - they will make the dish!

Pulao, previously: Chicken PulaoPea PulaoQuick Pulao RiceGirly Lunches, Neapolitan Ice Cream and Ginger Loaf 

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Lamb Shoulder Pieces
2. Water
3. Coriander Seeds
4. Cloves
5. Black Peppercorns
6. Salt
7. Red Chilli Powder
8. Cinnamon Sticks
9. Black Cardamoms
10. Onions
11. Jalapeno Chillies
12. Tomato
13. Ginger
14. Garlic
15. Basmati Rice
16. Vegetable Oil
17. Cumin Seeds

Bismillah, let's begin!

Important Note - Measure both rice and stock with the same measuring utensil.

First, and most important of all, the rice. Take 675g (3 cups) (see important note above) Basmati Rice
Wash the rice in water until the water runs clear. This will take about 8 changes of water. Soak the rice in cold water until you are ready to use.

Next, make the lamb stock. Take 1 kg (2 pounds) Lamb Shoulder, cut into pieces and on the bone.

Place the meat into a large, deep saucepan.

And, fill with 3 litres Water.

Place over a high heat to bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, add in the rest of the stock ingredients. Take:
3 tablespoons Coriander Seeds
6 Cloves
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder

Add them all to the pan.

Next:
3 Cinnamon Sticks
6 Black Cardamoms

Throw them in too.

Then, in goes 1 small Onion, peeled and sliced in half.

6 Jalapeno Chillies, whole (or any other green chilli will do)

1 Tomato, sliced in half

1/2 inch piece Ginger, unpeeled and sliced

And, finally, 6 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled and sliced in half.

Give everything a good stir, and let it continue to come to the boil.

Once it boils, turn the heat down to medium-low. 

Let the stock cook like this for 35 minutes or until the lamb is tender.

Once the lamb is tender, turn the heat off.

Take out the lamb pieces and place into a bowl. Set aside for later.

Take the remaining stock ...

... and strain it well through a sieve.

Be sure to press all the liquid out of the vegetables and spices. Then, discard them - they have done their job. 
If you prefer a wetter pulao, measure out 1 litre and 620ml (6 cups) of stock. For a drier one, measure 1 litre and 485ml (5 and 1/2 cups) stock.
Set the stock aside to use later. Save any leftover stock too.

Now, to make the actual pulao. Take 3 large Onions.

Peel and dice or thinly slice them. Try not to cry!

Take a large, deep and heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over a medium heat and pour in 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil.

Once the oil is hot ...

... sprinkle in 3 teaspoons Cumin Seeds.

Let the cumin seeds sizzle for a minute or two and then ...

... add in the chopped onions.

Give them a good stir and turn the heat to high.

Keep stirring until the onions turn golden.

Then, turn the heat to medium, and keep stirring until the onions turn dark brown or to your preferred shade of brown.

The colour of your onions will determine the colour of your pulao.

Once the onions are ready, measure out 150ml (1/2 cup) of the lamb stock that you have leftover. If you have none leftover, use water. Measure the stock with the same utensil that you measured the rice.

Turn the heat to the lowest.
With the lid close by, pour in the stock.

Quickly cover with the lid.

Wait for 1 minute.

And, then uncover.

Put the heat on medium-high heat.

Stir to dissolve the onions for 2 minutes.

Then, add the lamb pieces.

Brown the meat for 3 minutes.

Next, pour in the 1 litre and 620ml (6 cups) of lamb stock. Use the same cup that you used to measure the rice.

Bring this to the boil.

Once boiling, drain the soaked rice from earlier, and add to the saucepan.

Gently stir in the rice, and turn the heat to medium.

Now, taste the stock for seasoning. It should taste more salty than usual.

I added another teaspoon of salt. Taste again and make sure it's perfect.

Over a medium heat and uncovered ...

... let the rice soak up the majority of the stock.

Then, cover with a lid and leave on a medium heat for 1 minute.
Put onto the lowest heat and leave to steam for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, uncover. Fluff the rice up and get ready to serve!

Serve up with plenty of green yoghurt chutney and salad!

Full Written Recipe:


Lamb Pulao

Preparation Time – 20 minutes approx.

Cooking Time – 1 hour and 20 minutes approx.

Serves – 8 to 10 people approx.

Important Note – If using a cup measurement, measure both rice and stock with the same measuring cup or utensil.

Ingredients

For the Lamb Stock
1 kg (2 pounds) Lamb Shoulder, cut into pieces and on the bone
3 litres Water
3 tablespoons Coriander Seeds
6 Cloves
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
2 teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
3 Cinnamon Sticks
6 Black Cardamom
1 small Onion, peeled and sliced in half
6 Jalapeno Chillies (or any other green chilli)
1 Tomato, sliced in half
½ inch piece Ginger, unpeeled and sliced
6 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled and sliced in half

For the Pulao
675g (3 cups) (see note above) Basmati Rice
3 large Onions, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
Salt, as needed

Method
First, wash the rice in water until the water runs clear. This will take about 8 changes of water. Soak in cold water until you are ready to use.

To make the stock, place all the ingredients into a large, deep pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium-low heat. Cook like this for 35 minutes or until the lamb is tender.

Take out the lamb pieces, and place into a separate bowl. Set aside.

Strain the stock well, and place into a jug. Discard all the vegetables and spices – they have done their job.

Measure out 1 litre and 620ml (6 cups) of the stock if you prefer a wetter pulao. For a drier pulao, measure out 1 litre and 485ml (5 and 1/2 cups) of stock. Set aside for later. Save any leftover stock too.

Now, to make the pulao. Heat the vegetable oil over a medium heat until hot, in a large, deep saucepan – preferably heavy bottomed. Add the cumin seeds, and let them sizzle for 1 minute.

Add the diced onions, and turn the heat to high. Keep stirring until they turn golden.

Turn the heat to medium, and keep stirring until the onions turn dark brown, or to your preferred colour.
The colour of your onions will determine the colour of the pulao.

Take 150ml (1/2 cup) of the leftover stock (not the measured one). If you have none left over, just use the same amount of water.

Turn the heat of the onions down to the lowest.
Pour in the stock or water, and quickly cover with a lid.
Wait for 1 minute.

Remove lid, and place on medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the onions for 2 minutes.

Add the lamb pieces. Brown the meat for another 3 minutes.

Pour in the measured 1 litre and 620ml (6 cups) (see note above) of lamb stock. Bring this to the boil.

Drain the soaked rice from earlier, and add to the pan. Gently stir in and turn the heat to medium.

Taste the stock for seasoning. It should taste more salty than usual. We added another 1 teaspoon of salt. Taste again, and adjust if needed.

Over a medium heat, uncovered, let the rice soak up majority of the stock.

Cover with a lid and leave on a medium heat for 1 minute. Then, put onto the lowest heat and leave to cook for 20 minutes – this is the dam.

After this, uncover. Fluff the rice gently with a spoon, and serve up! Serve with green yoghurt chutney and plenty of salad.

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Wasalaam!


Spice Enthusiast
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