Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Fijian Indian Lamb Pulao.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Happy Wednesday!
We have a little sunshine here this morning which always makes me so happy.
I hope your 2017 has been going well so far. Mine has been good. We cooked a classic Pakistani curry using my grandmother's recipe on Monday. Can't wait to share it with you. She used to make the best food.
She was my maternal grandmother, my Nani. And, she was an expert on how to make a really good Pakistani pulao. Saying that, I'm not too sure how she would feel about this Fijian Indian version that I'm currently loving.

There's a few differences between this pulao and a classic Pakistani one. First of all, the spice mix. Here we make our own, very fragrant Fijian Indian garam masala. The spices are slightly different to our house one especially because there no smoky spices like black cardamom and cinnamon.

Another difference is that there is no stock (yakhni) made in this pulao. Instead, we make a really intense lamb masala. Finally, the rice is stir-fried separately with onions and spices before being added to the lamb. The whole thing is steamed together to make a beautiful, well-seasoned pulao. Served with this tomato chutney, I'm sure my grandmother would have approved.

Lamb and Rice, previously: the laziest lamb pulao // lamb pulao // lamb and potato tahri/akhni 

A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Fijian Indian Garam Masala:
1. Coriander Seeds
2. Cumin Seeds
3. Cloves
4. Fennel Seeds
5. Green Cardamoms
6. Star Anise
7. Black Peppercorns

For the Lamb Masala:
1. Vegetable Oil
2. Onions
3. Garlic
4. Green Chillies
5. Ginger
6. Salt
7. Fijian Indian Garam Masala
8. Bay Leaves
9. Lamb Pieces, on the bone
10. Water

For the Stir-Fried Rice:
1. Basmati Rice
2. Vegetable Oil
3. Butter
4. Onions
5. Bay Leaves
6. Ground Turmeric
7. Salt
8. Garlic
9. Ginger
10. Water
11. Fresh Coriander


Bismillah, let's begin!


First, let's make the Fijian Indian garam masala so that it's ready when we need it. Take:
2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Cumin Seeds
8 Cloves
1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds
2 Green Cardamoms
1 Star Anise
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Black Peppercorns

Put all the spices into a blender or spice grinder and grind do a powder. This garam masala recipe will make more than is needed for the pulao so store the leftovers in an airtight container. You can use it in any other recipe that calls for garam masala. 

To make the lamb masala, take a large, deep pan. The pan should be big enough to hold the entire pulao because we'll be steaming it in here at the end. Pour in 1/4 cup (60ml) Vegetable Oil and heat over a medium heat.

Peel and slice 3 medium Onions.

Add the sliced onions to the hot oil. Stir-fry them until golden.

While the onions fry, let's blend together:
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled
2 Green Chillies
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

Add them to a blender.

Along with a little Water.

Blend until smooth. I used this blender!

Once the onions are golden and smelling lovely ....

... grab the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste.

Pour it into the onions.

The paste will hiss and spit once it hits the pan.

But give everything a good stir, turn the heat down and that should calm things down.

Stir-fry the paste in for a few minutes to cook through.

Then, add in 1 teaspoon Salt.


Next, the Fijian Indian garam masala. This spice blend is what gives this pulao its flavour.

So, add in 2 and 1/2 heaped tablespoons Fijian Indian Garam Masala.

And, 2 Bay Leaves.

Stir-fry the spices for a few minutes until really fragrant.

Then, we can add in the lamb. I used 1 kg (2 pounds) Lamb Pieces, on the bone. These were a mixture of leg, neck and chops. You could use any.

Add the lamb to the pan.

And, begin to stir-fry it over a medium heat until it has lost its pink colour.

This should take a good few minutes.

Next, pour in 270ml (1 cup) Water. If you are using a cup to measure the water, make sure you use this same cup to measure the rice too. In this way, you'll get the right measurements.

Stir in the water and bring everything to the boil.

Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to low.

Let the lamb cook like this for 45 minutes or until completely cooked. Be sure to give it a stir every now and then.

While the lamb cooks, we can prepare our stir-fried rice. This is the difference between this Fijian Indian pulao and a Pakistani pulao. In this pulao, the rice is stir-fried a little before being added to the lamb. And, there is no stock (yakhni) in this pulao rather the meat is cooked in a masala.

Take 470g (2 cups) Basmati Rice. Give it a wash in a few changes of water until the water runs clear and not cloudy. Top the rice with more water and let it soak until needed.

To stir-fry the rice, place a pan over a medium heat. Add in a few tablespoons of Vegetable Oil and 60g (2oz) Unsalted Butter.

Once the butter has melted, we can add in our onions.

So, peel and slice 2 medium Onions.

And, add them to the pan.

Fry the onions until golden.

A little too golden for me, but oh well.

Next, add in:
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
3/4 teaspoon Salt

Stir-fry for a minute or two.

Then, take 8 Garlic Cloves, peeled and 1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped. Blend the two with a little water until you have a smooth paste.

Add the paste to the pan.

Stir-fry it for a few minutes.

Then, drain the water out of the soaking rice.

And, add the rice to the pan.

Gently stir-fry the rice for a few minutes.


By this time, the lamb should be cooked too.


Uncover and turn the heat up.


Stir-fry the lamb until its masala sauce begins to thicken and cling to the meat.


Then, pour in another 270ml (1 cup) Water.


Stir together and bring everything to a boil.


Meanwhile, to the rice, pour in 785ml (3 cups) Water.


Stir and bring to the boil.


Once boiling, add the rice to the lamb pan.


Gently stir in.


Before tasting the stock for salt. It should be a lot saltier than normal.


Add more salt, if needed. We added in 2 teaspoons.


Bring everything to the boil and let it bubble for a minute or two. Sprinkle over with a handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped.


Cover with a lid and turn the heat to the lowest.


Place a heavy object on the lid. This will help with the steaming.


Set a timer for 20 minutes. Plus who else hates wet coriander?!

Once the rice is fully cooked and the water has been absorbed, the pulao is done!


Give the rice a gentle toss.

And, serve it!


I love this pulao because it's so delicious. The garam masala used here makes all the difference. It's a lot lighter in spice than a normal Pakistani pulao and is delicious alongside this chutney.


The tomato chutney goes so well with the rice. We love it!


With the well seasoned rice, the soft lamb and the chutney, this pulao is definitely one of my favourites for winter.

Fijian Indian Lamb Pulao.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 2 hours.
Serves: About 6 people.

Ingredients

For the Fijian Indian Garam Masala
2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Cumin Seeds
8 Cloves
1 tablespoon Fennel Seeds
2 Green Cardamoms
1 Star Anise
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Black Peppercorns

For the Lamb Masala
1/4 cup (60ml) Vegetable Oil 
3 medium Onions, peeled and sliced
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled
2 Green Chillies
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
2 and 1/2 heaped tablespoons Fijian Indian Garam Masala
2 Bay Leaves
1kg (2 pounds) Lamb Pieces, on the bone (ours were a mixture of leg, neck and chops)
540ml (2 cups) Water, divided in two to make 270ml (1 cup)

For the Stir-Fried Rice
470g (2 cups) Basmati Rice, washed and soaked
Few tablespoons Vegetable Oil
60g (2oz) Unsalted Butter
2 medium Onions, peeled and sliced
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
3/4 teaspoon Salt
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
785ml (3 cups) Water

For the Pulao
Large handful Fresh Coriander, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Fijian Indian Garam Masala

Make the Fijian Indian Garam Masala:
Place all the spices into a blender or spice grinder and grind to a powder. Store in an airtight container. This recipe for garam masala will make more than is needed in this pulao.

Make the lamb masala:
Heat the oil in a large, deep pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the sliced onions and fry until golden.

Meanwhile, blend together the garlic, ginger, green chillies and a little water until smooth. Pour into the golden fried onions. Stir-fry for a few minutes.

Add in the salt, Fijian Indian garam masala and bay leaves. Stir-fry for a few minutes. Then, add in the lamb and stir-fry the pieces until they're sealed and have lost their pink colour.

Pour in 270ml (1 cup) water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and cover with a lid for 45 minutes or until the lamb is cooked.

Once the time is up, uncover and stir-fry the lamb until its masala thickens and begins to cling to the meat. Pour in another 270ml (1 cup) water. Stir and bring to the boil.

Make the stir-fried rice:
Wash the rice in a few changes of water until the water runs clear and not cloudy. Soak in water until needed.

Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large saucepan. Once the butter has melted, add in the sliced onions and fry until golden.

Add in the bay leaves, ground turmeric and salt. Stir-fry for a minute or two. Blend together the garlic, ginger and a little water until smooth. Add this paste to the onions and stir-fry for a few more minutes.

Drain the rice and add to the pan. Gently stir-fry for a few minutes before pouring in 785ml (3 cups) water. Stir and bring to the boil.

Bring the pulao together:
Once both the lamb and rice are boiling, pour the rice into the lamb pan. Gently and stir. Taste the stock for salt. The stock should be saltier than normal. Add more salt, if needed. Stir in the fresh coriander.

Bring everything to the boil and let everything bubble for a few minutes. Cover with a lid and place a heavy object on top. Turn the heat to the lowest and let the pulao cook for 20 minutes.

To finish the pulao:
Sprinkle over the Fijian Indian garam masala and more fresh coriander. Gently toss and serve with plenty of Fijian Indian tomato chutney.

Recipe Notes:

  • Make sure that the pan that the lamb is cooked in is big enough because we'll be steaming the entire pulao in it.
  • When you add in the ginger and garlic pastes, be careful because they tend to spit and hiss. Turn the heat down and give everything a good stir.
  • If you are using cups to measure the rice and water, make sure it's the same cup.
  • This recipe does require a little multi-tasking especially when combining both the lamb and rice together.
{adapted from bajia}

This Time One Year Ago:

This Time Two Years Ago:
more honeycomb disasters + misty skies + chocolate orange.

This Time Three Years Ago:
cheesy garlic bread.

This Time Four Years Ago:
chilli chicken and vegetables.

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your pulao!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

6 comments

  1. That is an intense pulao, full of flavors... pinning this up and to try with the tomato chutney as well, InShaAllah...

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is how my mum makes it. I am Fijian Indian, but married to a British Pakistani...hence I scour your blogs to find food that can satisfy my husband's cravings for the food he grew up with.. I have to say that each pulao has it's own unique taste..and I find myself finding the Fijian Indian version being what I crave most.. Thanks so much for your recipes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad the Fijian Indian pulao is authentic! So glad you're enjoying my recipes! :)

      Delete
  3. Salaam. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
    Was wondering.. as you fully cook the lamb meat then add the rice and let it cook for 20mins together does the lamb not become mushy or does it still hold its shape?
    Thank you. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wa alaikumus salaam! Thank you! No, the lamb kept its shape. If your pieces are on the smaller side, cook it for less time then add in the rice and allow it to cook further.

      Delete

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