Festive lamb pilaff

Aaron Crazes fruit and but studded pilaff is choc-a-bloc with festive flavours
By Aaron Craze
Festive lamb pilaff
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the meatballs

  • 675 g minced lamb
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1-s tsp ground paprika
  • 2.5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

For the pilaff

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 x 5 cm piece of halved cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 400 g basmati rice
  • 750 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds or pistachio nuts
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries, or sultanas
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, to garnish


1. For the meatballs: mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape into small balls the size of walnuts, transfer to a large plate, cover and refrigerate until required.

2. For the pilaff: heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onion until soft and slightly coloured. Add the spices and stir in the rice. Add the stock, season with salt and freshly milled pepper, bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

3. Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the meatballs in batches for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until brown and cooked through.

4. Gently add the pistachio nuts or flaked almonds, cranberries or sultanas and parsley and stir through the rice. Drain the meatballs on absorbent kitchen paper and position over the pilaff.

5. Serve immediately.

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