Recipe by *Nabiha*
I got this recipe from my friend Asma and I love it. A one-dish meal that is easy to assemble and very scrumptious. The masoor/ lentils used here are the whole unsplit ones that are brown in colour. You could use puy lentils too.
Top Review by peter
This was pretty darn good. It is a little fiddly as there are so many steps. Also, don't skimp on the onions, you need large ones, or more than 4 medium ones. Make sure you remove the cardamon pods etc. before serving. I used tinned lentils which were fine.
- 1 teaspoon saffron strand
- 3 cups basmati rice
- 1⁄4 cup whole red masoor lentils or 1⁄4 cup puy lentils
- 150 ml vegetable oil
- 4 onions, thinly sliced
- 4 whole cinnamon sticks
- 6 -8 whole cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons fresh gingerroot, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 green chilies, halved
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 4 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces that are 1/4 cm thick
Directions See How It's Made
- Make the saffron water by soaking the saffron strands in 200ml of hot water. Leave to stand until needed.
- Wash the rice in warm to hot water and leave to soak in a bowl of water while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add the lentils to a large pan filled with 400ml hot water . Place over a low to medium heat and cook for approximately 30-45 minutes, until the lentils are tender. If necessary, add more hot water during cooking.
- Heat two thirds of the vegetable oil in another large pan and heat until smoking hot. Add half the onions and fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain. Set aside.
- In the same hot oil, add the potatoes and fry till they are almost done. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.
- Leave the oil in the pan and add the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Allow the spices to sizzle for a few seconds then add the remaining raw onions and fry until golden brown.
- Now add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies, ground cumin, garam masala , turmeric and red chilli powder and stir for a minute or two.
- Add the minced lamb and cook until browned then add the yoghurt and stir through. Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the rice. Add three teaspoons of salt and a drizzle of oil to prevent the rice from sticking. Cook until the rice becomes tender but not completely cooked through - about three minutes. Drain well and leave to stand.
- Add the remaining oil to the empty rice pan and add a layer of the crispy-fried onions and a drizzle of the saffron water.
- Next add a thin layer of rice, then a thin layer of the lentils and some of the lamb mixture. topped with a layer of the fried potatoes.
- Repeat steps 11 and 12 several times until all the ingredients have been used up and you have a number of layers. Finish with a layer of fried onions and sprinkle over the chopped coriander and mint.
- Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes.
- Serve warm with Yogurt Raita or Mint Yogurt .