Keema with jewelled rice

Fragrant spicy lamb and sparkling jewelled rice make a delicious duo in this fabulous recipe from Vicky Bhogal
By Vicky Bhogal
Keema with jewelled rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus soaking rice in water
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 ml canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2cm knob ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies, chopped finely
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 handfuls of coriander, chopped
  • 450 g lean minced lamb
  • 200 g frozen peas

For the jewelled rice:

  • 1½ cups basmati rice, ashed
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 5 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods, plit
  • green, red and yellow food colouring
  • ¼ cup pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Fry until a deep golden brown.

2. Turn the heat down and add the tomatoes, ginger, chillies, salt, garam masala and a handful of coriander.

3. When the mixture has become shiny and the oil separates, add the mince.

4. Stir through to coat. Add the peas and stir thoroughly again. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

5. Add 150ml of boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a low heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

6. Take the lid off, turn the heat up and stir-fry for a few minutes. The lamb should be moist but there should be no water left.

7. To make the jewelled rice, allow the rice to soak in water. Meanwhile fill a large saucepan to ¾ full with cold water and bring to the boil.

8. Drain the rice and add to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.

9. Drain the rice into a colander immediately.

10. Heat the butter in a large pan on a low heat. Add the cloves and the cardamom. Stir well and add the rice. Using a palette knife or a spatula, gently push the rice from one side of the pan to the other until all the liquid has dried off but the rice is still moist. Be very careful not to break the rice grains.

11. Sprinkle dots of the three food colourings on to the rice, making sure the colours do not touch and leaving some white spaces.

12. Place three sheets of kitchen paper over the pan and leave on a very, very low heat to steam for 15 minutes.

13. Turn off the heat, gently loosen with a fork, transfer to a serving dish and scatter over the pistachios.

14. Serve with the keema, sprinkled with the remaining chopped coriander.

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