azerbaijan lamb pilaf

This type of Azerbaijani Lamb pilaf dish is popular in the Balkans, through Russia, to the Middle East. The saffron a pomegranate juice give an exotic flavor.
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ lbs/675 g boneless lamb shoulder cut into1-inch/2.5-cm cubes
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  •  ground cumin 1 tsp
  • risotto 1 cup, long-grain, or basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • scant 1/2 cup pomegranate juice (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 3½cups lamb or chicken bouillon or water
  • ½ dried apricots or prunes, ready soaked and halved
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • salt and pepper
To serve
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh watercress

azerbaijan lamb pilaf


 Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or wide pan over high heat. Add the lamb, in batches, and cook stirring and turning frequently, for about 7 minutes until lightly browned.
Add the onions, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook for about 2 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the cumin and rice
and cook, stirring to coat, for about  2 minutes until the rice is translucent: Stir in the
tomato paste and the saffron threads.
Add the pomegranate juice and bouillon and bring to a boil, stirring. Stir in the apricots or prunes and raisins. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lamb and rice are tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
Season to taste. sprinkle the chopped mint and watercress over the pilaf, and serve from the casserole.
azerbaijan lamb pilaf
Cook’s Tip
pomegranate juice is available from middle eastern grocery stores. if you cannot find it, substitute unsweetened grape or apple juice.

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