Saffron Lamb Pulao with Spekko India Gate Classic Basmati Rice

Saffron Lamb Pulao with Spekko India Gate Classic Basmati Rice

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Serves 4 – 6

Most people are accustomed to having roast lamb on Sunday. In our home, Lamb Pulao is the Sunday roast! The best part is that the aroma wafts through the house. There are people who go for a Sunday stroll and I have been told that the tantalizing aroma reaches the street. Over the weekend I try not to spend too much time in the kitchen and prepare one decadent dish. I use the Spekko India Gate Classic Basmati rice for this dish. The grains are slim and incredibly long. The true flavours of this basmati are released when the rice is steamed with the lamb.


1 kg leg or shoulder chops, cut into pieces
50ml sunflower oil
1 cinnamon sticks
2 Bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
2 large onion, finely chopped
12,5ml crushed ginger

12,5ml crushed garlic

20ml Red Chilli Powder
10ml Ground Coriander
5ml Ground Cumin
5ml Garam Masala
2,5ml Turmeric
7,5ml coarse salt
62,5ml fresh cream
3 cups cooked Spekko Indiagate Classic Basmati Rice
3 Up To Date Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm thick rounds
250ml frozen peas
Extra oil for frying potatoes
1 onion, thinly sliced
10 saffron strands
Fresh coriander and mint to garnish

Here’s How

Fry the sliced potatoes until pale golden brown. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Dab off excess oil with absorbent paper towel. Fry thinly sliced onion in hot oil until deep golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Heat the saffron strands in a frying pan. When the saffron strands are cool, crush them using your fingertips. Pour 200ml boiling water over the crushed saffron. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. This process releases the aroma and colour of the saffron strands. Heat 50ml oil in a pot on a medium heat and fry cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and bay leaves until fragrant. Add chopped onion to the oil and sauté until golden brown. Add ginger and garlic paste and stir for a few seconds. Add red chilli powder and stir for 2 – 3 seconds only. The mixture in the pot should resemble a thick spice paste. Add lamb cubes and coat the pieces in the fried onion paste. Add salt, ground cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and continue stirring the lamb ensuring that the meat does not stick and burn. Add 500ml boiling water when the meat begins to stick and simmer for about 45 minutes until the meat is tender. Add more boiling water if necessary. Stir in fresh cream. Remove from heat and layer the peas over the lamb. Then add the fried potatoes followed by the rice. Pour saffron infusion over the rice. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Steam the lamb pulao on very low heat until the saffron infusion evaporates taking care to check that the lamb does not stick and burn. This should take about ten minutes. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander, mint and fried onion slices.

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Yudhika’s Tips:

– Cook the rice in advance and allow to cool before layering over the lamb. This helps keep the rice grains separate and prevents the pulao from becoming sticky.
– Chicken can be cooked in the same way. Chicken on the bone is always the best option. I use a whole bird weighing about 1,2 – 1,4kg.
– For a fuss free dinner…Cook the lamb in advance and refrigerate once cool. Add the peas, rice, potatoes and saffron infusion and simmer 20 minutes before serving.

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