Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kabul-Style Lamb and Rice Pilaf

I love to read Saveur Magazine. Each one is beautiful and has amazing stories about food, people and places. I picked a couple of recipes out of an issue that I wanted to try. The first is this lamb dish called Qabili Pilau, the national dish of Afghanistan.
It takes a while to cook so plan accordingly.

Qabili Pilau my way

1 cup brown basmati rice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
~1 pound boneless lamb london broil, cut into 1 1⁄2" pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium red onions, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
~4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black cardamom seeds, see below
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
Afghani flat bread, optional

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper and brown, turning occasionally, 8–10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lamb to a plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add onions, and cook, stirring, until browned, 12 minutes. Return lamb to pot with 2 cups chicken stock; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until meat is tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots to a plate; set aside.

Combine coriander, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, cardamom and cloves in a bowl. Add rice to reserved pot; stir in half the spices and 2 cups stock; season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, without stirring, until liquid is just absorbed, 20 minutes. Add the rice and the carrots to the pan with the lamb. Cover; continue to cook until rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir rice, lamb and carrots together and season with salt and pepper.

I bought cardamom pods and crushed them in a mortar and pestle to get to the black seeds. I then crushed the seeds.

The flavors in this were really good. You could probably use boneless chicken as well. The original recipe called for raisins. Other recipes I looked at included blanched almonds or pistachios. I'm not wild about fruit in my meat dishes so I left them out. If I had seen the almonds in the other recipe I would have added them. Mike and I really enjoyed this. We didn't have the bread because of the rice but it would have been good with the sauce. Enjoy!

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