AFRICAN LAMB AND VEGETABLE PILAU

Spicy lamb is served in this dish with basmati rice and a colorful selection of different vegetables and cashew nuts. Lamb and rice are a popular combination is African cooking.

SERVES FOUR
INGREDIENTS
  • 450 g / 1 lb boned shoulder of lamb
  • 2.5 ml / ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2.5 ml / ½ tsp paprika
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 25 ml / 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 900 ml / 1½ pints / 3¾ cups lamb stock
  • Savoy cabbage or crisp lettuce leaves, to serve
For the rice
  • 25 g / 1 oz / 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • ½ red (bell) pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 fresh green chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 115 g / 4 oz / 1 cup sliced green cabbage
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp natural (plain) yogurt
  • 2.5 ml / ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 225 g / 8 oz / generous 1 cup basmati rice, soaked
  • about 50 g / 2 oz / ½ cup cashew nuts
  • salt and ground pepper
COOK'S TIP
If the stock looks a little fatty after cooking the lamb cubes, blot the surface with kitchen paper to remove the excess grease before pouring the stock into the measuring jug (cup).
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the lamb into even-size cubes. Place the meat in a large bowl and add the thyme, paprika, garam masala, and garlic and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well to mix, cover with clear film (plastic wrap), and set aside in a cool place for 2-3 hours for the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the lamb, in batches if necessary, over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until browned. Stir in the stock, cover, and cook for 35-40 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl. Pour the liquid into a measuring jug (cup), topping it up with water if necessary to make 600 ml / 1 pint / 2½ cups.
  3. Melt the butter in a separate pan and cook the onion, potato, and carrot for 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and chilli and cook for 3 minutes more, then stir in the cabbage, yogurt, spices, garlic, and the reserved lamb stock. Stir, cover, then simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage has wilted.
  4. Drain the rice and stir into the stew with the lamb. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Sprinkle in the cashew nuts and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, cupped in cabbage or lettuce leaves.
African Lamb and Vegetable Pilau